Office of Profit: President Accepts Disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs

Marco Green
January 21, 2018

President Ram Nath Kovind has approved a recommendation by the Election Commission (EC) to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs from the legislative assembly.

The 20 MLAs had held a meeting with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Deputy CM Manish Sisodia and other senior AAP leaders on Saturday after which they had made a decision to approach the president.

"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.

However, despite this decrease in the numbers, there is no danger to the Arvind Kejriwal government as it would still be in majority in a 70 member Delhi assembly with 46 MLAs.

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. Now we received this news.

The petition before the ECI was filed by one Prashant Patel against 21 MLAs who were appointed as parliamentary secretaries by the AAP government in Delhi. "AAP will knock the doors of HC and even SC if the need be", said Gopal Rai to ANI.

In this case, the party had also approached the Delhi High Court, but there was a jolt at that stage too.

Initially, the profit for office case was against 21 MLAs before Rajouri Garden MLA Jarnail Singh resigned from his post to contest elections against former Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in 2017 state election. "If the decision had come before December 22, these 20 MLAs would've been disqualified and couldn't have voted for the Rajya Sabha elections", said Congress leader Ajay Maken. 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 Click Lancashire

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