The high court then issued notice to the election commission to present its view on the matter.
Mumbai: The Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court has dismissed a plea against the Bhandara-Gondia Lok Sabha bypoll. Nagpur resident Pramod Gudadhe had moved court, requesting it not to allow the bypoll, saying that when fresh Lok Sabha polls were merely a year away, expenditure on conducting the bypoll could be a waste.
Mr Gudadhe filed a public interest litigation (PIL) before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court and challenged the bypoll in Bhandara-Gondia. According to his plea, “As per the 2011 Census, there were 21,90,000 voters in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The then EC spent rupees six crore, 28 lakh and 86 thousand on the election. If we go for the bypoll, more money will be needed for arrangements. Not just that, there will be a general election within one year. So, this will be a double expense. As it is public money, it shall not be used for such frequent expenses.”
The high court then issued notice to the election commission to present its view on the matter. The EC asked for more time. Finally, there was a hearing on the matter in Nagpur on Wednesday, and the court rejected Mr Gudadhe’s plea as keeping a constituency vacant for more than six to eight months is not constitutionally approved. This cleared the decks for elections in both Lok Sabha constituencies.
After BJP’s defeat in Gorakhpur and Phulpur constituencies of Uttar Pradesh, the two bypolls in Maharashtra are eagerly awaited in political circles. For BJP, it will be a test to keep both seats like in 2014.