LUCKNOW: Before Uttar Pradesh goes to polls in 2022, the Yogi Aditynath government is set to face a mini-referendum by the year-end as eight seats in the Assembly are lying vacant due to the demise of a few members and disqualification of a few others.
It is expected that the Election Commission may schedule the by-poll along with the Bihar Assembly elections.
Of the eight seats, five fell vacant after the death of sitting members and three due to the disqualification proceedings against members of different parties.
UP Assembly has the strength of 403 members. A by-poll to a vacant seat in the state assembly is generally held within six months from the date of vacancy. However, EC has not yet given any indication about holding these by-polls.
The members who died in the recent past include two ministers Kamal Rani Varun, who represented Ghatampur seat and Chetan Chauhan, who had won Amroha’s Naugawan Sadat constituency for the BJP in 2017 state polls. Besides, BJP’s Janmejaya Singh, MLA from Deoria Sadar was the most recent one to pass away on August 21 during the monsoon session of the state legislature. Moreover, SP’s Paras Nath Yadav, who represented Malhani in Jaunpur, died on June 12 and BJP’s Veerendra Singh Sirohi, the Bulandshahr MLA had died on March 2.
The other three seats fell vacant due to the disqualification of the sitting members. While Banagarmau seat in Unnao parliamentary segment fell vacant after BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar faced disqualification following his conviction in a rape case and a subsequent life sentence which he is serving in Tihar.
Similarly, the Swar seat in Rampur fell vacant after Allahabad High Court declared the election of Samajwadi Party MLA Mohammad Abdullah Azam invalid. Azam was disqualified for allegedly producing fake age certificates while filing the nomination for election in 2017. Abdullah is the son of Rampur strongman and senior SP leader Azam Khan.
Earlier, the Tundla Assembly seat of Firozabad was declared vacant after BJP MLA SP Singh Baghel got elected to the Lok Sabha from Agra. The EC also will have to take a call about holding the biennial election to 11 seats of the UP Vidhan Parishad.
“The decision to hold elections to eight vacant seats of UP Assembly lies with the Election Commission of India. However, so far, there has been no word from the apex poll body in this connection,” said a senior government official.