The Election Commission on Friday announced that the elections for the nine vacant seats in the Maharashtra Legislative Council, the upper house of the state assembly, will be held on May 21 and votes will be counted after 5 p.m. on the same day.
The Commission in its order has set May 4 as the date for issue of notification for the elections, while May 11 is the last date for filing nominations. It has fixed May 14 as the last date for withdrawal of candidature with polls scheduled to take place on May 21 between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.The nine seats became vacant on April 24 this year, and on April 3 this year the Commission issued an order deferring the elections till further notice given the Covid-19 situation.
The Commission decision comes after it received various representations including a letter from the Maharashtra Governor BS Koshyari on April 30 indicating the feasibility of conducting elections in the State. In this connection, Governor Maharashtra has also mentioned that Udhav Thackeray was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on November 28, 2019 and pointed out that as per constitutional provisions he has to become a member of either the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council within a period of six months, i.e., on or before May 27, 2020. He has further stated that the ground level situation is contained and as of now appears to be improving with several relaxations being made by the Government.
The EC has also directed the Chief Secretary to depute an officer from the state to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the elections. Further the EC has appointed Chief Electoral Officer, Maharashtra as observer for this election.