The Election Commission of India (ECI) on Tuesday announced a byelection to Uttar Pradesh’s Khatauli Assembly constituency after the disqualification of incumbent BJP MLA Vikram Singh Saini following his conviction in a case related to the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots.
Coinciding with the second phase of voting in Gujarat, the byelection will be conducted on December 5 along with bypolls to the Samajwadi Party (SP) strongholds of the Mainpuri Parliamentary constituency and the Rampur Assembly constituency with the counting of votes scheduled for December 8.
Convicted with 11 others for two years by an MP/MLA Court on October 11, the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly had, on Monday, declared the Khatauli Assembly seat vacant with effect from the date Mr. Saini’s conviction. Section 8 of The Representation of the People Act, 1951, provides for the disqualification of elected representatives in the event of being convicted for no less than two years.
The Mainpuri Parliamentary constituency fell vacant following SP founder and three-time U.P. chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav passing away on October 10 and the Rampur Assembly constituency was declared vacant after its incumbent SP MLA Azam Khan’s membership was cancelled given his conviction in a hate speech case and subsequent sentencing for three years on October 28.
Along with these seats, Assembly constituencies including Odisha’s Padampur, Rajasthan’s Sardarshahar, Bihar’s Kurhani and Chhatisgarh’s Bhanupratappur will also go to the polls on the same day.
With the Model Code of Conduct coming into force immediately following the declaration of the bye-election, no fresh release of funds under the Member of Parliament (including Rajya Sabha members) Local Area Development can be made in any part of the district or districts in which the Parliamentary or Assembly Constituency scheduled for polls is situated.
In the same way, no fresh release of funds under the MLAs’ or MLCs’ Local Area Development Fund can be made in relation to any such scheme currently in operation till the completion of election process.
No new work can start in regard to which work orders may have been issued before the declaration of the bye-election but has not actually started on the ground and can commence only after the completion of the election process. However, if such work has actually started, it is allowed to continue.