Mini bypolls in Delhi in six months after AAP loses 20 MLAs

22 January, 2018, 02:25 | Author: Inez Murphy
  • AAP MLA Alka Lamba

President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday sacked 20 AAP legislators in the Delhi Assembly after the Election Commission found that they were holding government offices in violation of laws barring them from doing so.

Yashwant Sinha, former Minister of Finance and External Affairs took to Twitter and said that the decision of the President was complete miscarriage of natural justice.

The court was referring to the MLAs' petitions filed in August 2017 challenging the poll panel's decision to continue hearing a complaint against them for allegedly holding an office of profit.

After the EC's verdict, the party had on Friday tried to seek interim relief from the Delhi High Court, demanding a stay on the electoral body's recommendation.

On September 8, 2016, the high court had set aside the appointment of the 21 AAP MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. A person will be disqualified if he holds an office of profit under the central or state government, other than an office declared not to disqualify its holder by a law passed by Parliament or state legislature.

Reacting to the allegation by Congress, BJP's Meenakshi Lekhi clarified, "The fact that their Rajya Sabha nomination happened means EC was working at its own pace and there was no pressure". In this matter, President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the recommendation of the Chief Election Commission.

AAP leader Ashutosh called the development "unconstitutional" and "dangerous for democracy". On March 12, 2013, Chief Minister Mukul Sangma had administered oath of office to 18 MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries to assist the 12 ministers after the Congress retained power in assembly elections. "Unfortunate that the President took the decision in such haste, without giving us chance to speak".

The Commission said, its opinion is based on judicial pronouncements of the past, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act and the Constitution.

Addressing the media at Gandhi Bhavan along with Reventh Reddy, Shabbir said the six MLAs were enjoying all perks, salaries and also protocol on par with those of cabinet ministers though their appointment has been struck down by the court.

The ruling AAP has a massive majority in the Delhi Assembly with 67 out of 70 seats.

The proceedings against Jarnail Singh were dropped after he resigned as the Rajouri Garden MLA to contest the Punjab Assembly polls.

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