Supreme Court sends notice to Election Commission after Gujarat Congress accuses poll body of favouring BJP in seats vacated by Amit Shah and Smriti Irani


The Supreme Court on Wednesday asked the Election Commission to submit its response to a petition filed by the Gujarat unit of the Congress alleging that the national poll body was trying to favour the BJP in the next month’s Rajya Sabha polls for two seats vacated by Amit Shah and Smriti Irani.

Smriti Irani

The top court directed the Election Commission to submit its response by 24 June, a day before the court hears the case once again. This was after Gujarat Congress President Amit Chavda accused the Election Commission of indulging in unconstitutional act to help the BJP. He tweeted, “In the blatant disregard of constitution, under the immense pressure from @BJP4India, Election Commission has issued notification to hold polls for 2 Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat separately. This is unprecedented, unconstitutional and blatant attempt by EC to benefit BJP.”

His subsequent tweet read, “If election of both RS seats are held together according to the norm, BJP will win 1 seat & @INCGujarat will win 1 seat. Election of both these seats were held together, RS Seat of Smriti Irani & Amit Shah got vacant together, so what is the need to hold 2 separate polls ?”

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He concluded, “Today @INCGujarat has filed petition in SC against this unconstitutional notification by EC, We will fight tooth & nail to uphold constitution & save democracy in Gujarat. We are confident SC will uphold constitution & prevent the murder of our democracy in broad daylight!”

The Election Commission scheduled 5 July for the by-polls of the two vacant Rajya Sabha seats in Gujarat.

The genesis of the controversy lies in the two separate notifications issued by the Election Commission for the two seats. While the national poll body issued the notification declaring Shah’s seat vacant on 28 May, it waited for one more day to declare the Smriti Irani’s seat vacant. The Congress has alleged that the EC’s refusal to issue one notification for both the seats since both were declared winners on 23 May shows that the poll body was trying to help the BJP.