India will today hold biennial elections to fill 24 seats in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the country’s
India will today hold biennial elections to fill 24 seats in the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the country’s parliament that is elected by state Members of Legislature Assembly (MLAs).
Elections will be held by state, with the most available seats in Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The elections follow those held in March, which filled only 55 out of the available 73 seats (the remaining appointments were postponed due to COVID-19). Six additional seats that will fall vacant in June and July are likewise open.
Despite three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs recently testing positive for COVID-19, the ruling nationalist BJP has pushed ahead with its current polling timeline with an eye on the nine seats it is likely to claim. In Madhya Pradesh, the BJP has been accused by the opposition Congress Party of “poaching” electoral advocates.
The BJP’s ability to address such allegations will set an important tone for democratic procedures going forward, as the party faces increasing backlash for restricting free speech, revoking Kashmir’s special status and criminalising triple talaq among Muslims.
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