This Article is From Mar 29, 2023

What Poll Body Said On Election In Rahul Gandhi's Wayanad Seat

Karnataka will vote on May 10 and the verdict will be announced three days later, the election body said, also announcing by-polls for Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat.

Amid the row over his disqualification, Rahul Gandhi visited Parliament today

New Delhi:

The Election Commission today did not announce byelections for the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala, which has fallen vacant after Rahul Gandhi's disqualification as an MP following his two-year jail sentence in a defamation case.

Karnataka will vote on May 10 and the verdict will be announced three days later, on May 13, the Election body said, also announcing by-polls for the Jalandhar Lok Sabha MP.

The widely anticipated Wayanad dates were missing. All vacancies till February 2023 have been cleared, the poll body said.

"We have cleared vacancies till February. This vacancy was notified in March. A 30-day period has been given for appeal. We are not in a hurry," Chief Election Commissioner Rajiv Kumar told reporters.

He cited the Representation of People Act, 1951, to say by-polls need to be held within six months of any vacancy.

The Congress had prepped for a legal battle if the Election Commission had announced bypolls in Wayanad today.

Rahul Gandhi was disqualified on Friday, a day after a Surat court convicted him in a defamation case filed by a BJP leader and sentenced him to two years in prison.

The Congress leader has 30 days to appeal the sentence.

If the sentence is put on hold, Rahul Gandhi will get his Lok Sabha membership back, the Congress says.

The Representation of the People Act, 1951, says that anyone convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more stands disqualified.

In a similar case, another politician was restored as a Lok Sabha MP today.

Lakshadweep MP Mohammad Faizal, who was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison in an attempted murder case, got back his Loj Sabha membership two months after the Kerala High Court suspended his sentence.

Mr Faisal claims that a false case was registered against him in 2016 over allegations of an attempt to murder a relative of former Union Minister PM Sayeed during the 2009 elections.

The NCP leader was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2019, in the middle of his trial. He was sentenced along with three others on January 11. Two days later, the Lok Sabha Secretariat sent him a disqualification notice.

On January 18, the Election Commission announced polls to Mr Faisal's Lakshadweep seat on January 27. Two days before the polls, the Kerala High Court suspended Mr Faisal's sentence, forcing the Election Commission to withhold the byelection. Sources said the poll body wanted to avoid a similar retreat in the case of Wayanad.