Voting for 24 Rajya Sabha seats across 10 states – most of them delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic – began at 9 am on Friday. Elections are being held to four seats each in Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Pradesh, three each in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, two in Jharkhand and once each in Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Manipur. Results will announced after 5 pm.
On Thursday, the Election Commission of India had issued a standard operating protocol for the safe conduct of polling process in Gujarat. The new guidelines included separate routes and waiting areas for MLAs suspected to have Covid-19, and screening of all MLAs at the entry of the legislature, where the voting process will take place. In other states, all MLAs will have their temperature checked and will need to wear protective masks.
The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress are locked in a close contest in Gujarat since both the parties do not have absolute numbers in the Assembly to secure a victory for their respective candidates. The BJP has fielded three candidates – Abhay Bharadwaj, Ramila Bara and Narhari Amin – for the state’s four Rajya Sabha seats while the Congress has nominated Shaktisinh Gohil and Bharatsinh Solanki….