The Election Commission today announced that it will hold the bye-election for the Rajya Sabha seat of the late Dalit leader Ram Vilas Paswan who passed away in a Delhi hospital on October 9 following a heart surgery.
The election will be held on December 14 and the results will be announced on the same day, according to an Election Commission statement released today. The Rajya Sabha term of Mr Paswan, founder of the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP), extends up to April 2, 2024, it said.
"The Chief Secretary, Bihar, is being directed 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 election," the statement said.
Mr Paswan skipped last year's Lok Sabha polls, passing his Hajipur seat to his younger brother and Bihar minister Pashupati Kumar Paras, and entered Parliament through the Rajya Sabha.
The 74-year-old was undergoing treatment and had to undergo a heart surgery on October 3.
In 2014, the LJP leader stitched an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party after parting ways with the Rashtriya Janata Dal. However, his party, under his son Chirag Paswan's leadership, complicated matters in the latest Bihar election held a few weeks ago. The LJP, while fully backing the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra, openly campaigned against the Janata Dal United and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, the main state partner of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA).
While the NDA won the election, it was the BJP that emerged as the dominant partner in the alliance, diminishing Mr Kumar's political stature.