The Election Commission of India has decided to not announce the dates for the by-elections in the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala, which has fallen vacant after the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as an MP. Gandhi was disqualified after being sentenced to two years in jail in a defamation case filed by a BJP leader. The Election Commission also announced by-polls for the Jalandhar Lok Sabha MP, but the widely anticipated Wayanad dates were missing. The Chief Election Commissioner cited the Representation of People Act, 1951, which states that by-polls need to be held within six months of any vacancy.
The Congress had been preparing for a legal battle if the Election Commission had announced bypolls in Wayanad. Rahul Gandhi has 30 days to appeal the sentence, and if it is put on hold, he will regain his Lok Sabha membership, according to the Congress. The Representation of the People Act, 1951, disqualifies anyone convicted of an offense and sentenced to imprisonment for two years or more.
In another case, Lakshadweep MP Mohammad Faizal, who was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison in an attempted murder case, regained his Lok Sabha membership two months after the Kerala High Court suspended his sentence. Faizal 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. He was elected to the Lok Sabha in 2019, in the middle of his trial. Two days before the polls for his by-election, the Kerala High Court suspended his sentence, forcing the Election Commission to withhold the by-election.What Poll Body Said On Election In Rahul Gandhi’s Wayanad Seat