President approves disqualification of 20 AAP legislators

22 January, 2018, 02:25 | Author: Earnest Huff
  • Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. Credit PTI

In its opinion which was sent to President of India Ram Nath Kovind, the poll panel suggested that the MLAs were "unconstitutionally" appointed as parliamentary secretaries to various Delhi ministers, therefore they are liable for disqualification.

According to the EC, the AAP lawmakers held the offices of profit, as they were appointed parliament secretaries, between March 2015 and September 2016.

"If decision would have come before December 22, then these 20 MLAs would have been disqualified".

Later in the evening, the Delhi high court refused to grant interim relief to AAP. Both BJP and Congress have sharpened attack on AAP demanding Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's resignation.

Singh added that the letter of appointment given to the AAP MLAs when they became parliamentary secretaries did not mention that it was an office of profit.

A petition filed by lawyer Prashant Patel sought the disqualification of the MLAs on the grounds that they were holding an "office of profit" as parliamentary secretaries. ANI reported that President Ram Nath Kovind had approved the recommendation of disqualification made by the Election Commission. "There is a higher power who knew that three years down the line, they will disqualify 20 of our MLAs, and that's why it gave us a whopping 67 legislators", he said.

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Congress on Sunday hit out at the AAP for playing the victim card claiming that its MLAs were not given a hearing by the Election Commission before their disqualification for holding Office of Profit. "The doors of the courts are open to us".

The poll panel had also said that it is basing its opinion on judicial pronouncements of the past, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act and the Constitution.

The Leader of Opposition in Delhi Assembly, BJP's Vijender Gupta said, "Kejriwal should take moral responsibility for disqualification of his MLAs".

Of these 21 MLAs, Rajouri Garden legislator Jarnail Singh had resigned from his seat before contesting the Assembly elections in Punjab.

The move will pave the way for by polls in Delhi for 20 constituencies of the 70-member assembly.

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