AAP says EC gave no opportunity to explain

21 January, 2018, 00:31 | Author: Inez Murphy
  • The Election Commission is learnt to have recommended to the President the disqualification of 20 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs for allegedly holding office of profit

A meeting attended by Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken and AICC incharge of the state unit PC Chacko, the party functionaries discussed the emerging scenario and possible elections in the 20 Assembly segments.

Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia also hit out at the BJP, saying it wants elections so that all schemes and projects initiated by the AAP government can be derailed. 20 MLAs who were enjoying ministerial perks would be disqualified! "Even if justice was denied us in the court, we will go to the people's court which is the biggest court", he said.

In response to the Election Commission's notices in March 2016, the AAP had passed a Bill amending the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997 to exempt the post of parliamentary secretary from the definition of the "office of profit".

In a major blow to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, the Election Commission has recommended to the President that 20 Aam Aadmi Party legislators be disqualified for holding offices of profit as parliamentary secretaries. Fifteen AAP MLAs have cases against them.

Meanwhile, a 30-year-old lawyer, Prashant Patel, filed an application in 2015 to the president's office, questioning the appointment of AAP MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. "However, yesterday (Friday), the Commission scrapped their membership of the Assembly without any notice", said AAP leader Gopal Rai. Constitutional experts were surprised over the timing of his recommendation to the President. Although it had won 67 seats in the 2015 elections, four of its MLAs are now under suspension, and the Rajouri Garden seat went to the BJP in a by-poll. The EC dropped proceeding against one of the 21 MLAs in the Office of Profit case Jarnail Sing as he had quit assembly to contest Punjab elections previous year. She further asked the EC to inform till January 22, whether any final communication has been sent to President Ram Nath Kovind on the disqualification of the MLAs. Arvind's tenure as the Chief Minister of Delhi has been tumultuous ever since he won the elections with majority three years ago.

The result of the disqualification would be by-election in the 20 Assembly constituencies, and there is a chance that AAP wins back many of them, given its work in education and healthcare is being appreciated by Delhiites. "Arvind Kejriwal should take moral responsibility for defeat and resign", he said. "We appeal to the President to hear our view too, MLAs will meet President also", Sisodia said.

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