New Delhi: The biennial election to the two Rajya Sabha seats from Jharkhand, which was countermanded over allegations of use of money-power and horse-trading, will now be held afresh on May 3, the Election Commission announced on Tuesday.

The three-member Commission decided the fresh dates in its meeting held today and a notification for the same would be issued on April 16, starting the process for filing of nominations.

The earlier notification of March 12 for holding biennial election to fill the two vacancies from Jharkhand was rescinded by President Pratibha Patil on March 31 following a recommendation by the EC in the wake of allegations of use of money power in the March 30 poll.

As per the fresh schedule, the nominations can now be filed upto April 23 and scrutiny will be done the next day.

The EC has fixed April 26 as the last date for withdrawal of nominations and polling would be held on May 3 between 9 AM to 4 PM and counting to be done the same day at 5 PM.

The term of office of two members of the Council of States elected from Jharkhand was to expire on April 2 due to the retirement of Surendrajeet Singh Ahluwalia and Mabel Rebello.
The EC has said that the election process has to be completed by May 5.

The Election Commission has already written to the government for a CBI probe into the events that led to countermand of March 30 Rajya Sabha elections in Jharkhand.

The decision came after the Jharkhand High Court asked the Commission to constitute a probe.