EC announces May 19 as bypoll date for Darjeeling

Darjeeling: The Election Commission has announced the date of by-election for the Darjeeling Assembly Constituency. The Hill town will go to polls on May 19. The results will be declared on May 23, together with the general election results.

Interestingly, the last phase of elections is also scheduled on May 19, when nine Lok Sabha constituencies will go to polls.

With Darjeeling MLA Amar Singh Rai resigning and contesting in the ongoing elections from the Darjeeling parliamentary constituency, the seat of MLA has fallen vacant. Polling has taken place for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections on April 18 in Darjeeling.

The Election Commission stated on Friday that gazette notification for the Assembly elections will be published on April 22. From that day onwards, nominations will start. The last date of filing nominations will be April 29.

Incidentally Rai, the MLA affiliated to GJM, had resigned from the state Legislative Assembly and had filed his nomination for the Parliamentary elections, contesting on a TMC ticket backed by GJM.

After having worked as a professor for more than three decades, Rai retired as a vice-principal in 2008. Following this, he joined active politics in 2011.

In the very same year, he was elected as chairman of the Darjeeling Municipality. During his tenure, the Municipality was successful in getting the Rs 205 crore AMRUT project sanctioned by the state government, to solve the drinking water crisis of the Hill town. A solid waste management project worth Rs 15 crore was also passed under his chairmanship.

After completing his term as chairman of the municipality in 2016, Rai had contested the Vidhan Sabha elections from Darjeeling and was elected with the highest number of votes.

A source in the Election Commission said that there are five other Assembly seats in Bengal, where by-elections will take place. However, the dates have not been announced yet for the same.

The by-election for Uluberia East will be held on May 6- the day of the fifth phase of Lok Sabha polls. The seat has been lying vacant after the death of Haider Aziz Safwi.

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