Rahul Gandhi | ANI
Kozhikode: The Election Commission is reportedly making preparations for a by-election in the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency following Rahul Gandhi's disqualification. The examination of the voting machine commenced at the Kozhikode Collectorate.
Representatives from various political parties are present during the inspection. Voting machines of the Thiruvambady constituency were inspected on Wednesday, and similar inspections will be carried out at the Malappuram and Wayanad Collectorates in the coming days. The Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency encompasses the Thiruvambady constituency in Kozhikode district, as well as the Mananthavady, Sultan Batheri, and Kalpetta assembly constituencies in Wayanad, and the Eranad, Nilambur, and Vandoor constituencies in Malappuram district.
The voting machine inspection took place at a makeshift pandal set up in front of the collectorate. Political party representatives stated that they were notified about the inspection on Monday, June 5. The UDF representatives said by-election proceedings began at the collectorate on June 1.
Rahul Gandhi, the Wayanad MP, was sentenced to two years in prison by a Surat court in Gujarat for ‘defaming the Modi community’ in his 2019 election speech. Consequently, Rahul Gandhi was disqualified as MP by the Lok Sabha secretariat. The preparations for the by-elections are underway while Rahul Gandhi's appeal in the case is being considered.
Kozhikode MP, MK Raghavan, expressed his belief that the Election Commission's decision is a result of pressure from the union government. He mentioned that this approach has also been observed in Lakshadweep, but ultimately, the court had to intervene. MK Raghavan confirmed that consultations with legal experts in Delhi are currently taking place to address this matter. The party is likely to challenge the decision if the commission announces by-election.