New Delhi: The Supreme Court Tuesday agreed to hear on 19 June a plea of the Gujarat Congress challenging the decision of the Election Commission to hold separate bypolls to two Rajya Sabha seats in the state.
A vacation bench of Justices Deepak Gupta and Surya Kant agreed to list the matter on Wednesday after senior advocate Vivek Tankha mentioned it for urgent hearing.
The petition filed by Congress MLA from Amreli and Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly, Pareshbhai Dhanani, has sought a direction to the EC to hold bypolls together.
The EC clarified that the vacancies for bypolls to all Houses, including Rajya Sabha, are considered "separate vacancies" and separate notifications are issued and separate polls are held, though the schedule can be the same.
A press note issued by the poll panel on 15 June scheduled the election for the two seats on 5 July.
But Gujarat Congress chief Amit Chavda told reporters the EC decision was "unconstitutional" and the BJP has "pressured" the EC to hold the bypolls separately.
Reacting to Chavda's accusations, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani said bypolls to Rajya Sabha are held separately, which is why the EC decided to issue separate notifications.
The Rajya Sabha seats fell vacant following the election of BJP chief Amit Shah and party leader Smriti Irani to Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar and Amethi, respectively.
Shah has been given the charge of Union Home Ministry and Irani Women and Child Development Ministry.
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Updated Date: Jun 18, 2019 15:03:43 IST