President Kovind approves EC's recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs

Lloyd Doyle
January 21, 2018

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Shatrughan Sinha on Sunday came out in support of 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs, who have been recommended for disqualification by Election Commission of India (EC).

A Gazette notification of the Government said, the 20 AAP MLAs stand disqualified in office-of-profit case.

"June 24, 2015: Delhi Assembly passes the Delhi Member of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) (Amendment Bill), 2015 excluding parliamentary secretaries from 'Office of Profit" with retrospective effect.

The development does not threaten the AAP government in Delhi as it has 66 MLAs in the 70-member assembly.

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Maken on Friday said that chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has lost moral right to govern and should immediately resign. "Doors of HC & SC is open for us", AAP MLA Alka Lamba told news agency ANI.

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.

The disqualification has reduced Kejriwal's cabinet to 47 from 67, hinting that by-elections in Delhi are soon in order.

The party has earlier hinted that if the President approved EC's recommendation, it will approach judicial authorities, however, any significant outcome is doubtful.

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.

July 14-21, 2016: The Election Commission holds a personal hearing for 21 AAP MLAs.

Initially, the petition was directed at 21 MLAs, but one MLA, named Jarnail Singh, resigned to contest in the Punjab elections previous year. AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said there was a political conspiracy against the party, alleging that the "BJP through its agents seriously compromises the prestige of the EC just to divert the attention of the nation from its all round failures".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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