PUDUCHERRY: The elections to the lone Rajya Sabha seat in Puducherry will be held on October 4.
According to an announcement by the Election Commission of India, the election notification will be issued on September 15, and the last date for nomination is September 22. The scrutiny of nominations will be taken up on September 23 and the last date for withdrawal of nomination is September 27.
The counting of votes will be conducted on October 4 after the polling from 9 am to 4 pm.
The election process has to be completed before October 6, when the tenure of the present member N Gokulakrishnan (AIADMK) ends (on October 6).
The poll panel has directed Chief Secretary Ashwani Kumar to depute a senior officer for ensuring the Covid containment measures are followed while making arrangements for conducting the polling.
The voters’ strength is 30 for the polling. Though Puducherry Legislative Assembly has a strength of 33 members comprising of 30 elected members and three nominated members, only the elected members can vote and those nominated do not have voting rights for the Rajya Sabha polls.
Among the elected members, 10 are from ruling AINRC and six from its ally BJP, six are Independents, six are from DMK, and two from Indian National Congress. The Secretary of the Legislative Assembly is the returning officer for the poll.
The sitting member is from AIADMK, an ally of the ruling NDA. The point of interest would be the NDA candidate in the poll in the face of a weak opposition and Independents supporting the ruling alliance. All three NDA allies — AINRC, BJP, and AIADMK — are eyeing the seat and it remains to be seen who is the NDA nominee for the poll.