The Election Commission of India on Monday announced elections to the Rajya Sabha for 18 seats to be held on June 19.

The notification in this regard was released on March 6 but due to the prevailing unforeseen situation of public health emergency due to COVID-19 and related advisories in the country, the Election Commission on March 24 had deferred the poll.

Now, Commission has reviewed the matter in detail. Considering all factors, including the guidelines dated May 30  issued by Union Home Secretary and Chairman, National Executive Committee (NEC) under the National Disaster Management Act, 2005, and taking into account the inputs obtained from the Chief Electoral Officers concerned, the Commission has decided that the date of poll and counting of votes in respect of the biennial elections for 18 seats from the States of Andhra Pradesh (4 seats), Gujarat (4 seats), Jharkhand (2 seats), Madhya Pradesh (3 seats), Manipur (1 seat), Meghalaya (1 seat) and Rajasthan (3 seats) shall be done on June 19 and the counting of votes will also be done on the same day, the Election Commission said.

After the last date of withdrawal on March 18, respective Returning Officers declared 37 seats from 10 States filled in uncontested. Further, as per the reports received from the concerned Returning Officers, the biennial elections for 18 seats from the States of Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Rajasthan were to be conducted on March 26 and the date before which election was to be completed as earlier announced by the Commission was March 30, as per the notification dated March 6.

“Commission has also decided that the Chief Secretaries shall depute a senior officer from the State to ensure that the extant instructions regarding COVID-19 containment measures are complied with while making arrangements for conducting the elections,” it said.

“Further Commission has appointed Chief Electoral Officer concerned as Observer for the election in the respective State,” it added.