February 18, 2018

Office of profit: AAP to approach higher courts for justice

22 January 2018, 02:24 | Rex Hubbard

Kovind disqualifies AAP 20

President approves the recommendation of EC to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs

Kovind gave his assent yesterday to the recommendation by the Election Commission (EC).

The 20 MLAs had approached the Delhi High Court challenging the EC's recommendation but Justice Rekha Palli had refused to pass any interim order.

On Friday, the Election Commission (EC) apprised the President that the 20 MLAs were liable for disqualification for holding offices of profit between March 2015 and September 2016. Shabbir and Revanth said that the ruling TRS government had appointed D Vinay Bhaskar, Jalagam Venkat Rao, V Srinivas Goud, G Kishore Kumar, V Satish Kumar and Kova Laxmi as parliamentary secretaries on December 29, 2014.

Later, the AAP government tried to push a Bill through Delhi Assembly, giving protection to parliamentary secretaries under Office of Profit law. So you want to repay Modi ji's debt.

AAP leader Ashutosh called the development "unconstitutional" and "dangerous for democracy".

The Election Commission has not commented on the issue saying it was sub-judice.

"This must be the first ever recommendation in EC history where a recommendation has been sent without even hearing the main matter on merits". Maken said the EC had not taken the decision to disqualify AAP MLAs in a single day. "The L-G had called 400 files of our government (pertaining to decisions taken in two years), but when they did not find anything against us. they today disqualified our 20 MLAs".

The Congress is "fully ready" to contest the bypolls on the 20 seats.

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The move also is a massive blow for the AAP which has a massive majority in the 70-member Delhi assembly with 65 seats.

However, the disqualification will bring down its strength drastically to 46.

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".

BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra cited corruption and criminal cases against AAP MLas to claim that the party which started its political journey from India Against Corruption movement has become "I am corruption".

"Humare 20 MLAs pe jhoote case kar diye, mere upar CBI ki raid kara di aur tab bhi inko kuch nahi mila".

He said the BJP stands prepared for elections "any moment". "There is no influence in President Kovind's decision", Lekhi further said.

Though they were not given the salaries and perks that ministers enjoy, 20 of them constitute nearly 30% of the House.

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