Rahul Gandhi. Photo: ANI
New Delhi: With the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as MP, the Election Commission of India has to launch further proceedings regarding the Wayanad constituency from where he was elected.
The Election Commission may carry out a bypoll in Wayanad as per section 151 A of People’s Representative Act 1951 within six months from the conviction date.
Otherwise, the commission may wait until the next Lok Sabha polls, which have been scheduled in 2024. A by-election is not necessary, if the term of the disqualified MP is about to expire within a period less than a year. However, the need for a by-election in Wayanad cannot be withheld as the term of the actual term will expire only on June 16, 2024.
The third possibility is to offer a chance for Rahul to file an appeal until the election notification is declared. This decision falls under the discretion of the commission. In several cases earlier, the commission had issued election notification without giving time for the disqualified member to submit an appeal. However, a Supreme Court order directs the commission to conduct by-election only after ensuring enough time for the disqualified members to pursue an appeal.