Ahmedabad, Mar 22 (PTI) The Gujarat government has requested the Election Commission to postpone the March 26 Rajya Sabha election for four seats in the state in view of the novel coronavirus outbreak, Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Sunday.
The government will, on Monday, decide whether the ongoing budget session of the state Assembly should continue in view of the pandemic, he said. The budget session is scheduled to end on March 31.
The state has so far reported 18 positive cases and one death so far.
'It is for the Election Commission of India to decide on the Rajya Sabha election. We (state government) have requested the Election Commission to postpone the upcoming March 26 Rajya Sabha election as this will help (in fight against coronavirus),' Patel told reporters.
The Congress, meanwhile, said the Vijay Rupani government was buying time in order to indulge in horse trading.
The Congress stands depleted in the Assembly after five of its MLAs resigned recently.
'As the BJP senses defeat of its candidatein the Rajya Sabha election,it is trying to get the election postponed in the name of coronavirus. Its main purpose is to buy time for horse trading,' state Congress president Amit Chavda said.
In a setback ahead of the Rajya Sabha election, the Congress party lost its five MLAs who resigned as legislators, reducing its number to 68.
Fearing more poaching by the ruling camp, it recently shifted its MLAs to a resort in Jaipur, and said they will only come back on the day of election on March 26.
Elections for four Rajya Sabha seat is scheduled to be held on March 26 with three candidates from BJP and two from Congress in the fray for four seats.
BJP has fielded Abhay Bhardwaj, Ramilaben Bara and Narhari Amin, Congress has fielded Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki. PTI KA PD BNM BNM