Rahul Gandhi has to resign within two weeks from one of two seats he won

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Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (File image)

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi (File image)

New Delhi: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi will have to resign within two weeks from one of the two seats he won in the just-held Lok Sabha elections, a constitutional expert said citing provisions in the law as well as the Constitution.

Former Lok Sabha secretary general and constitutional expert PDT Achari told PTI that any candidate who wins from two seats will have to forego one within 14 days of the election results.

Even after the dissolution of the 17th Lok Sabha, Gandhi can send his resignation to the current Speaker Om Birla as he will continue to hold office till a pro-tem speaker is appointed for the 18th Lok Sabha.

The 17th Lok Sabha stood dissolved on June 5 after President Droupadi Murmu accepted the advice of the Union Cabinet to dissolve the House to make way for the formation of the new Lok Sabha.

Achari said in case the posts of speaker and deputy speaker are vacant, the member can send the resignation to the Election Commission.

If a member fails to resign from one of the two seats, he faces the danger of losing both seats.

The Congress' tally in the new Lok Sabha stands at 99, with Gandhi winning from Wayanad in Kerala and Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh.

The Election Commission has been pressing the government to amend laws to bar people from contesting from two seats or, at least as a deterrent, ask a candidate who vacates a seat necessitating a bypoll to deposit an "appropriate" amount in the state coffers.

The Representation of the People Act, 1951, allows a person to contest a general election or by-elections or biennial elections from a maximum of two constituencies but the candidate can retain only one.

Before a 1996 amendment in the electoral laws, there was no bar on the number of seats a person could contest.