New Delhi: In a major setback to the Congress, the Supreme Court on Tuesday gave the Election Commission the go-ahead to conduct by polls on two vacant Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat.
Refusing to entertain the plea filed by Congress Leader of Opposition in Gujarat Assembly Pareshbhai Dhanani, the SC asked the party to file an election petition and said it could not interfere at the moment.
The court, which notified the polls for July 5, said the Constitution allowed for an election petition to be filed. “Where is the question of violation of fundamental right?” the vacation bench comprising Justices Sanjiv Khanna and B R Gav asked.
The BJP had named External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar as its candidate for a Rajya Sabha seat from Gujarat, hours after he joined the party. Jaishankar on Tuesday filed his nomination for Rajya Sabha along with Jugalji Mathurji Thakor, who is the party’s candidate for the second seat from Gujarat.
The two seats fell vacant after BJP chief Amit Shah and Union Minister Smriti Irani moved to the Lok Sabha from Gandhinagar and Amethi respectively.
Shah’s seat was declared vacant on May 28 after he won his first Lok Sabha election from Gandhinagar in Gujarat in the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, while Irani’s seat was notified as vacant a day later.
The Congress had contested EC’s decision to hold separate by polls on the seats claiming that the BJP had pressurised the poll panel.
Gujarat CM Vijay Rupani had at the time said that that by polls to Rajya Sabha are held separately, which is why the EC decided to issue separate notifications.
Setback for Congress as SC Gives Nod to Poll Panel to Conduct Simultaneous Rajya Sabha Elections in Gujar… – News18