NEW DELHI: Union Minister Smriti Irani, CPM general secretary Sitaram Yechury, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien and Dola Sen are among the 10 leaders who would end their terms in Rajya Sabha, upcoming weeks. The election commission on Friday announced the schedule for the polls which will be held on August 8.
While the terms of nine Rajya Sabha members from Gujarat and West Bengal are ending on August 18, 2017, 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, 2017. Dave’s Rajya Sabha term was to end on June 29, 2022. The biennial poll and the bypoll will take place on August 8, 2017.
Earlier, on May 17, 2017, the poll panel had announced the schedule to the nine seats from West Bengal and Gujarat for June 8. But, EC had postponed the poll saying it would clash with the July 17 presidential election and the electronic voting machine challenge on June 3, 2017.
Out of the 9 retiring members, four are from the Trinamool Congress, two from the Congress, two from the BJP and one from the CPI(M).
The tenure of Ahmed Patel (Congress), Dilipbhai Pandya and Ms. Irani (BJP) from Gujarat and Derek O’Brien, Debabrata Bandhopadhyay, Sukhenduhakhar Roy and Dola Sen (all Trinamool), Pradip Bhattacharya (Congress) and Yechury (CPI(M)) from West Bengal ends on August 18, 2017.
Since the presidential poll is on July 17, 2017 and vice-presidential election on August 5, 2017 these members will be able to cast their ballot in the election as their retirement is due after that.
Forensic Test for EVMs
Poll panel sources said that a forensic test was conducted on an EVM on the orders of a high court to check whether it can be tampered with and the lab gave its clearance saying there is no evidence of manipulation in the machine. The official said that it is for the first time an EVM underwent such a test.
In May, the Bombay High Court had ordered examination of the EVMs from the Parvatti constituency in Pune. The order was issued to rule out tampering during elections to Maharashtra legislative assembly in 2014.
The court had asked the central forensic science laboratory (CFSL), Hyderabad to examine the EVMs and opine as to whether they could have been remotely accessed.
As per the test report, the machine is a stand alone, non-networked, one-time programmable unit, which is neither computer controlled externally nor could be connected internally or to any network.
The report concluded that no evidence of tampering, altering or any other manipulation could be detected.