NEW DELHI, May 01, 2020: Election Commission today reviewed the matter concerning feasibility of conduct of biennial election for the 9 vacant seats of the MLC by MLAs in the state of Maharashtra. Chief Election Commissioner Sunil Arora joined the meeting with Ashok Lavasa, Election Commissioner Sushil Chandra, Election Commissioner over video call (from USA).
ECI decided to conduct Biennial Election to the Maharashtra Legislative Councils by the members of Legislative Assembly (MLAs) on 21st May 2020.
Nine seats of MLC by MLAs became vacant on 24 April 2020 in Maharashtra (Annexure A). ECI on 03 April 2020 issued an order under Article 324 to defer the elections till further orders in view of COVID-19 circumstances.
Election Commission has received a letter dated 30thApril, 2020 of Chief Secretary, Maharashtra in which, the CS has pointed out the various measures taken to control pandemic and that in the State Government’s assessment, elections to the nine seats of MLC by MLAs could be held in a safe environment. State Government has assured the Commission that the State Government is fully committed to ensuring that the said elections are held in total hygienic conditions with social distancing measures and other conditions imposed by the competent authorities.Citing the Union Home Ministry’s order dated 29th April 2020 concerning permitting the movement of migrant workers, pilgrims, tourists, students and other persons stranded due to lock-down orders, State Government has reiterated that it will facilitate and ensure that the elections are conducted by following all directions in the matter.
Commission also received a DO letter dated 30thApril 2020 of Governor, Maharashtra addressed to the CEC indicating the feasibility of conducting elections in the State. In this connection, Governor Maharashtra has also mentioned that Udhav Balasaheb Thackeray was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Maharashtra on 28th November, 2019 and pointed out that as per constitutional provisions he has to become a member of either the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council within a period of six months i.e. on or before the 27th May, 2020.