The next Assembly elections are due in less than a year's time

Seats fell vacant following the disqualification of five MLAs on Saturday lastThe five MLAs were part of a 38 MLA group, who split from the BSP on August 26, 2003

LUCKNOW: The Election Commission may not hold by-polls to five seats of the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly which fell vacant following the disqualification of as many MLAs on Saturday last.

EC sources said since the next Assembly elections are due in less than a year's time, by-polls might not be held.

Sources quoted the Representation of People's Act, 1951 under which by-polls could not be held if Assembly polls are due in less than a year's time.

Though the last Assembly elections in U.P. were held in February, 2002, the term of the present State Legislative Assembly ends on May 14, 2007 as it took several months after the elections to form the Government. It was in May, 2002 that BSP president Mayawati took oath as the Chief Minister of the State. She had led a BSP-BJP coalition till August, 2003 after she decided to step down. On August 29, 2003, SP's Mulayam Singh Yadav formed the next Government.

On Saturday, State Assembly speaker Mata Prasad Pandey had disqualified five MLAs from the State Legislative Assembly.

These legislators -- Jaiveer Singh, Surendra Vikram Singh, Ramji Shukla, Ram Krishna and Dharampal -- had rejoined the BSP deserting the Loktrantrik Bahujan Dal (LBD) on March 1.

The five MLAs were part of a 38 MLA group, who split from the BSP on August 26, 2003 to join the ruling Samajwadi Party, which was forming Government in U.P. after Ms Mayawati -- leading the BSP-BJP coalition Government -- had resigned.

Two other MLAs had joined the LBD and had merged with the SP subsequently, thereby putting the total number of legislators who had left BSP to 40.

After a High Court decision on February 28 this year, they had expressed willingness to rejoin the BSP.

But, the Speaker rejected their contention and disqualified them. ``I see the split in BSP and the formation of LBD as a willing move by the MLAs..., the LBD had become a separate political entity on August 28, 2001. Therefore, its existence does not depend on the speaker's recognition,'' Mr Pandey said reading out the operative portion of the thick judgement.

"... the issue is that of the five leaving LBD and rejoining the BSP. This is covered by clause 2 (1) (a) read with clause 3 (b) of the 10th Schedule of the Constitution. Therefore, I declare them as disqualified under clause 2(1) of the 10th Schedule.''- UNI