New Delhi: The Election Commission has deferred the Rajya Sabha polls scheduled for March 26 in view of the coronavirus outbreak, an official statement said on Tuesday.
Election to fill up 55 seats in the Upper House of Parliament was to be held on March 26, but 37 candidates from 10 states have already been elected without a contest.
The decision on holding the election for the remaining 18 seats from Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya and Rajasthan will be taken based on the prevailing situation, the statement said.
"Fresh date of poll and counting for the said biennial elections shall be announced in due course after reviewing the prevailing situation," it said.
It said the prevailing unforeseen situation of public health emergency indicates the need for avoidance of possibilities of gatherings of any nature, which expose all concerned to possible health hazard.
"The poll process in the above said elections would necessarily include the gathering of polling officials, agents of political parties, support officials and members of respective legislative assemblies on the poll day, which may not be suitable in view of the prevailing unforeseen situation and related advisories in the country," the statement said.
Nearly 500 coronavirus cases have been reported in India so far, according to Health Ministry data on Tuesday.
As cases of the viral infection surged, authorities have put almost the entire country under lockdown, banning gathering of people and suspending road, rail and air traffic till March 31.