New Delhi: Elections to fill 13 Rajya Sabha seats across six states falling vacant in April, including those of Congress veterans A K Antony and Anand Sharma, will be held on March 31, the Election Commission said on Monday.
While members from Assam, Himachal Pradesh, Kerala, Nagaland and Tripura are retiring on April 2, five members from Punjab are retiring on April 9.
"Out of the five seats to be filled from Punjab, three are to be filled by holding one election and other two through another election as these seats belong to two different biennial cycles," the Commission said in a statement.
The notification for the biennial elections will be issued on March 14 and the polls will be held on March 31. As per established practice, the counting will be held on the day of polling 5 p.m onward.
Prominent among the members who are retiring are Antony (Kerala), Sharma (Himachal Pradesh), and Pratap Singh Bajwa and Naresh Gujral (Punjab). While former defence minister Antony, Deputy Leader of Congress in Rajya Sabha Sharma and Bajwa are from the Congress, Gujaral is from the Shiromani Akali Dal.
The Rajya Sabha nominations from Punjab will depend on the performance of parties in the state in the February 20 Assembly polls.
There has been no vacancy in the past five years during the Congress government in the state.
While five seats are falling vacant in Punjab, three are falling vacant in Kerala, two in Assam and one each in HP, Nagaland and Tripura.