In Nagpur, an MLA for four months

Sharad Pawar questions EC move to hold bypoll on April 11; asks parties not to field candidates

FOUR MONTHS — this is the tenure a newly elected MLA from an Assembly belt in Nagpur will enjoy.

With Assembly polls in Maharashtra scheduled for October this year, the Election Commission of India (ECI) has announced bypolls for a vacant seat in the state Assembly along with the Lok Sabha elections on April 11.

The Katol Assembly seat had fallen vacant on October 2, last year, when Ashish Deshmukh, who had won the 2014 polls on a BJP ticket, had resigned.maharashtra assembly polls, nagpur, mla, ashish deshmukh, sharad pawar, ncp, opposition, election commisssion of india, election news, indian express news

Deshmukh had joined the Congress the same day.

While Section 154 of the People’s Representation Act says that “a bypoll for filling any vacancy shall be held within a period of six months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy”, a former minister pointed out that the same proviso contains a rider that this shall not apply if the “remainder of the term of a member in relation to a vacancy was less than a year”.

Expectedly, neither the ruling party nor the Opposition is excited about the bypoll.

In fact, on Friday, NCP president Sharad Pawar, while questioning the ECI’s move, reached out to all the political parties, asking them not to field candidates for the bypoll.

“The newly elected member will have just three months or so to work. Our demand to the ECI was that the bypoll should not be held,” he said.

He added, “Now that it has announced the election, I request all parties to come together and decide against a contest.

We should not field anyone, but collectively nominate someone from the social sector.” In 2014, Deshmukh had defeated his uncle and NCP heavyweight, former minister Anil Deshmukh, to win the seat.

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