21 MLAs belonging to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) could lose their membership after President Pranab did not approve the Dual Office Bill proposed by the Delhi government.
Delhi Govt's dual office bill withheld by President Pranab Mukherjee
— ANI (@ANI) June 13, 2016
According to ANI, a Delhi lawyer had sent a petition to the President’s office, after the state cabinet cleared the proposal keeping parliamentary secretaries out of the office-of-profit purview on June 19.
Prashant Patel, based at Karkardooma Court, filed the plea asking the President to take action against the creation of 21 “unconstitutional” posts by the Delhi government.
The 21 AAP MLAs had filed their replies to the Election Commission in response to a show-cause notice, on why they should not be disqualified for occupying offices of profit in violation of the Constitution.
The Delhi government’s had appointed 21 AAP legislators as “parliamentary secretaries to ministers” last year. This decision had caused considerable controversy as the opposition criticised the move with both the BJP and the Congress had termed these appointments as grossly illegal.
The Centre’s BJP-led central government had stipulated these posts as “office of profit” thereby paving the way for their disqualification.
If indeed this happens, the move will necessitate by-elections in 21 constituencies.
Those whose membership could be in danger include Alka Lamba, Adarsh Shastri, and Jarnail Singh.
As parliamentary secretaries, these MLAs are not entitled entitled to any additional salary, but they “may use government transport for official purposes and office space in the minister’s office will be provided to them to facilitate their work.”
Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal reacted strongly to the news that President Mukherjee had withheld his government’s dual office bill.
He took to Twitter to say, “(Narendra) Modi ji doesn’t respect democracy. He’s scared of Aam Aadmi Party. No MLA received a single paisa. Neither did they get any car, bunglow. They got nothing. All MLAs were working for free. Modi ji is asking all of them to sit at home. According to him, no one should work.
“One MLA was assigned for in electricity department, other was given role in Water dept. One was on hospital duty, other had schools duty. Modi ji is saying, ‘Neither will I work not let anyone else work’.”
In another tweet, Kejriwal said that one MLA used to visit hospitals by paying for his own petrol, but ‘Modi ji has not made him sit at home.’
Reacting to the latest development, the Delhi Congress chief, Ajay Maken said that the Aam Aadmi Party should be renamed as VIP party.
He said, “They should rename Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to VVIP party. How can 21 MLA’s get ministers like facilities and how can AAP put this forward, a party which claims to be for common man?”