The Election Commission today announced that elections to 10 Rajya Sabha seats in three states will be held on August 8. The announcement comes as the terms of several prominent faces in the upper house, including Union minister Smriti Irani, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury and Trinamool Congress leader Derek O’Brien, are ending on August 18.
While the terms of nine Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat and West Bengal are ending on August 18, bypoll to the upper house seat from Madhya Pradesh will also be held following the demise of union environment minister Anil Dave (BJP) on May 18. Dave’s Rajya Sabha term was to end on June 29, 2022.
The biennial poll and the bypoll will take place on August 8, an EC statement said. On May 17, the election to nine seats from West Bengal and Gujarat were originally announced for June 8. But on May 22, the EC had postponed the poll saying it would clash with the July 17 presidential election and the electronic voting machine challenge on June 3.
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Out of the 9 retiring members, four are from Trinamool Congress, two from the Congress, two from the BJP and one from the CPI-M. The retirement of Ahmed Patel (Cong), Dilipbhai Pandya (BJP) and Irani (BJP) — all from Gujarat — is due on August 18. The tenure of members from West Bengal — Derek O’Brien (TMC), Debabrata Bandhopadhyay (TMC), Pradip Bhattacharya (Cong), Sitaram Yechury (CPM), Sukhenduhakhar Roy (TMC) and Dola Sen (TMC) ends on August 18.
Since the presidential poll is on July 17 and vice presidential election on August 5, these members will be able to cast their ballot in the election as their retirement is due after that.