Decode Politics | MPs-turned-MLAs quit: What do the rules say? | Political Pulse News


In total, the party fielded 21 MPs, including five Union ministers — 7 MPs each in Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, 4 in Chhattisgarh, and 3 in Telangana. All of them have resigned as of Thursday.

Congress leaders A Revanth Reddy and N Uttam Kumar Reddy, who were sworn in as Telangana Chief Minister and deputy CM, respectively, on Thursday morning, were also MPs. They resigned before taking oath.

Is there a framework within which the leaders had to resign?

One can contest on two seats as per the Representation of People’s Act, 1951.

But a legislator cannot remain both an MLA and an MP as per Article 101 of the Constitution, which deals with “vacation of seats”. Clause 2 of the Article says: “No person shall be a member both of Parliament and of a House of the Legislature of a State and if a person is chosen a member both of Parliament and of a House of the Legislature of a State, then, at the expiration of such period as may be specified in rules made by the President, that person’s seat in Parliament shall become vacant, unless he has previously resigned his seat in the Legislature of the State.”

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No person can be a member of both Houses of Parliament or both Houses of state as well.

Under the Prohibition of Simultaneous Membership Rules passed in 1950, the President specified that the time period of the resignation of a member either from the state Legislature or Parliament if elected to another is “fourteen days from the date of publication in the Gazette of India or in the Official Gazette of the State, whichever is later, of the declaration that he has been so chosen”.

A bypoll is conducted subsequently for the vacated seat. Section 151A of the Representation of the People Act, 1951 mandates the Election Commission “to fill the casual vacancies in the Houses of Parliament and State Legislatures through bye elections within six months from the date of occurrence of the vacancy, provided that the remainder of the term of a member in relation to a vacancy is one year or more”.

Since the Lok Sabha polls are just six months away, this rule would not apply.

Have there been issues previously?

Perhaps the most famous instance where these rules of resignation were widely debated was during the 1999 no-confidence vote against the 13-month Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government.

After Vajpayee lost the trust vote by a single vote, the role of Giridhar Gamang came under the spotlight. An MP from Koraput, he was named the Odisha CM in February 1999, but was yet to be elected MLA when the trust vote was held in Parliament on April 17, 1999.

Questions were raised over his presence in the House and should he be allowed to vote.

NCP supremo Sharad Pawar, then the Baramati MP and a Congress ally, pointed out that Gamang had “not resigned from his membership” of the Lok Sabha and was not a “Member of any other House”. “So, as an elected Member of this House, he has every right to cast his vote in the House on this particular occasion,” he argued.

Others questioned this, saying his MP seat should have been vacated or that he should be disqualified. L K Advani, who was the Union Home Minister at the time, said: “…the Chief Minister of Orissa has come to take part in the voting of the House, which can be crucial, which can be decisive and which can change the history of the country.”

And it did.

While this was the second time a Vajpayee government’s term was cut short — in 13 months — after having lasted only 13 days the first time, he would return to power at the head of an NDA government in elections held months later. And served out a full five years, till 2004.


Mohd Aman

Editor in Chief Approved by Indian Government

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