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New Delhi:

The Election Commission on Thursday declared bypolls for two Rajya Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh and Kerala on August 24 as these were vacant due to recent deaths of two Members of Parliament.

The seats were left vacant due to the deaths of Beni Prasad Verma from Uttar Pradesh and M.P. Veerendra Kumar from Kerala on March 27 and May 28, respectively. Verma’s term was upto April 7, 2022, while Kumar’s tenure was upto April 2, 2022.

Declaring the bypolls in the two seats, the EC said the notification for the elections will be issued on August 6. The last date for filing nomination for the elections is August 13. The scrutiny of nomination will be held on August 14 and the deadline for withdrawal of nomination is August 17. Voting will take place between 9 am and 4 pm on August 24 and the counting of votes will be completed on August 24 at 5 p.m.

As per schedule, the EC has planned to complete the election process in both the states before August 26. The commission has also directed the Chief Secretaries concerned to 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.

Verma, a founding member of the Samajwadi Party and former Union minister who was considered close to party patriarch Mulayam Singh Yadav, died March 27 at the age of 79. Verma was the telecom minister from 1996 to 1998 in then Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda’s Cabinet and was the steel minister in the Congress-led UPA government.

Former Union minister and managing director of Mathrubhumi M.P. Veerendra Kumar died at a private hospital in Kozhikode on May 28. He was 84. He suffered a cardiac arrest. The Rajya Sabha member was the former state committee president of Janata Dal (S), Socialist Janata (Democratic) and Janata Dal (United). He was also the founder leader of Loktantrik Janata Dal.

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