After former Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification as a member of the Parliament, the Wayanad Lok Sabha constituency in Kerala fell vacant and a bypoll to the seat may held by September.
According to Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 2015, bypolls to vacant Parliament and state legislature seats must take place within six months from the date when they fell vacant. However, it is now up to the Election Commission of India to announce the Wayanad bypoll. As per the official website of Lok Sabha, there are three vacant seats in the House now: Wayanad, Lakshadweep, and Jalandhar.
To further worsen the situation, Gandhi also risks losing his ability to run for MP for the coming eight years. It may be noted, the case against Gandhi was filed in Surat, Gujarat, the heartland of the BJP. Before the Congress leader’s official disqualification, BJP had also demanded his suspension from the Lok Sabha for reportedly slandering India during his United Kingdom (UK) visit, where he alleged that Indian democracy was in danger.
The Representation of the People Act, 2015 also paved the way for Gandhi’s removal as an MP. According to its Section 8(3), an MP attracts disqualification the moment they are convicted and sentenced for at least 24 months.
In the case of Lakshadweep MP Mohammad Faisal he was disqualified on 11th January 2023, for the offense of attempt to murder under Section-8-A RP Act and within two days the Election Commission announced a by-election. This election was held by the Election Commission along with North East states.