The Election Commission of India has reportedly recommended the disqualification of 20 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs in for holding office of profits.
In the event that the President of India gives its nod to the EC’s recommendation, the party’s strength in the assembly will be reduced to 47. The party has reportedly decided to appeal the EC’s decision in the court of law.
AAP government’s media advisor, Nagendar Sharma tweeted, “This must be the first ever recommendation in EC history where a recommendation has been sent without even hearing the main matter on merits. NO HEARING TOOK PLACE IN EC ON THE POINT OF OFFICE OF PROFIT (sic)”
Former AAP leader, Mayank Gandhi was quoted by Times Now as saying, “It is time to go back. There is no danger to the Delhi government. AAP will be approaching the highest court and the authorities in the matter.”
The leader of opposition in and BJP MLA, Vijender Gupta said, “Better late than never, EC Election disqualifies 20 AAP MLAs for holding ‘office of profit’. The AAP govt has much to answer to the public for their political impropriety as Delhi is headed for mid-term elections. Will request Hon’ble President for speedy approval.”
Gupta said that disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs was a ‘huge moral defeat for CM Arvind Kejriwal’ adding that the latter must ;resign on ethical grounds.’
AAP had won a historic landslide in February 2015 by securing 67 out of 70 assembly seats. It had appointed over two dozen of them as parliamentary secretaries. The party claimed that the post of parliamentary secretaries was unpaid and, therefore, they did not amount to office of profit.
The Congress had moved the EC in June 2016 asking it to disqualify the 21 AAP MLAs. Later, the proceedings were dropped against Jarnail Singh, who resigned as Rajouri Garden MLA to contest in Punjab assembly elections.
In June last year, the poll body had rejected the AAP MLAs’ plea asking for the charges be dropped. The EC had ruled that it will continue hearing a plea against the party’s nearly two dozen MLAs for allegedly holding office of profit.
More to follow