Rajasthan minister wants Rajya Sabha polls postponed amid COVID-19 pandemic

The election to three Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan is slated for the 26th of March.

Published: 22nd March 2020 09:52 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd March 2020 09:52 PM   |  A+A-

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot presents the state Budget for 2020-21

Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot. (Photo| Twitter/ @ashokgehlot51)

Express News Service

JAIPUR: Given the COVID-19 scare,  Rajasthan Tourism Minister Vishvendra Singh has asked Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot to write to the Election Commission and get the Rajya Sabha elections in the state postponed. The election to three Rajya Sabha seats in Rajasthan is slated for the 26th of March.

Saying that public servants and politicians meet the maximum number of people, Vishvendra Singh said they are in the high-risk group of spreading the coronavirus. In case the elections are not deferred, Singh has also announced that he will not participate in the election process. In addition, Vishvendra has also advised other MLA's to take care and stay away from the Rajya Sabha polls.

"As we all know about the coronavirus and the fatal condition in the country and the world, I have requested honourable CM of Rajasthan to write to the Election Commission to postpone the voting to Rajya Sabha as the biggest carriers could be public representatives as they meet thousands of people on a daily basis. Out of the two hundred MLA's who will vote, who knows who is affected. I have requested the party High Command that if the voting is not postponed then I personally will be abstaining from voting as it is a health hazard. I advise other MLA's also to take care," said Vishvendra Singh.

Rajasthan has already gone into a lockdown since last night till 31st March. Barring essential services, all government and private offices, malls, shops, factories and public transport will remain closed and only hospitals and essential services will remain operational. The boundaries of Rajasthan will also be sealed till 31st March.

Rajya Sabha elections in the state could take an interesting turn following Singh's statement given the fact that the BJP has fielded an extra candidate Onkar Singh Lakhawat. Given the maths in the current Vidhan Sabha, 51 votes are required to win a Rajya Sabha seat in 200-member Rajasthan assembly. Congress has 107 MLA's and support of 13 other independents and 4 MLA'S of other parties. This means two seats are likely to go to the Congress and one to the BJP. 

Vishwendra Singh is considered close to Pilot camp these days and amid the ongoing tussle between Rajasthan CM and his deputy,  if some more MLA's abstain over the corona scare, it could throw Congress calculations in trouble.


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