Kerala CM takes exception to EC decision to put on hold elections to RS seats

·2-min read

Kollam(Ker), Mar 25 (PTI) Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday took strong exception to the Election Commission's (EC) decision to keep in abeyance the schedule of elections to fill three Rajya Sabha seats from the state, after the Centre flagged some issues.

His reaction comes a day after the EC decided to put the elections to three RS seats on hold.

The three seats are currently held by Abdul Wahab of the IUML, K K Ragesh of the CPI(M) and Vayalar Ravi of the Congress. All the MPs are due to retire on April 21.

Election to these seats was to be held on April 12 and the notification was to be issued on Wednesday.

'The EC had initiated the election process. But, suddenly it was halted. Such a decision can be seen only as an attack on democracy and the Constitutionof the country,' Vijayan said.

Hitting out at the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre, he said it does not have any right to interfere in the affairs of the poll body.

Addressing a press meet, the CM noted that Article 324 of the Constitution states that the power of superintendence, direction and control of elections to Parliament, state legislatures, office of President and the office of Vice- President shall be vested with the Election Commission.

'... It's been said that the election was kept in abeyancefollowing the instruction of the Law Ministry,' he alleged.

Terming it as amove against Article 324, Vijayan sought to know the reason behind such a decision.

Sources privy of the matter said that the Law Ministry pointed to the assembly polls in Kerala scheduled to be held on April 6 and asked if it was legally tenable to hold an exercise, where MLAs of an outgoing assembly can vote to elect Rajya Sabha members.

Members of the Legislative Assembly elect Rajya Sabha members.

MLAs of the outgoing assembly, in which the ruling LDF has a majority, were to elect the three new members.

Kerala assembly elections will be held on April 6 and counting on May 2. PTI RRT ROH ROH