February 25, 2018

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AAP withdraws plea seeking interim stay on MLAs disqualification

23 January 2018

President Ram Nath Kovind yesterday accepted the Election Commission's recommendation to disqualify 20 MLAs of Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party for holding offices of profit.

AAP's office of profit case: President Ram Nath Kovind okays disqualification of 20 Delhi lawmakers. "Yet, the EC violated principles of natural justice and jurisprudence and announced its quasi judicial decision of summary disqualification", said Ashutosh adding that the party would challenge the decision in the high court and, if need be, in Supreme Court too.

"Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is facing a crisis, and that is because of the public campaign against corruption and injustice", the Shiv Sena said.

In his letter, Sisodia wrote that the MLAs who were appointed parliamentary secretaries to ministers were performing specific tasks, such as monitoring schools and hospitals, without getting any pay.

In the sparring over the "office of profit" issue, the AAP and other political parties have accused the ECI of political vendetta and haste in its action of recommending their disqualification, said the Sena.

Questioning the allegations levied on disqualified MLAs, some of whom were given individual portfolios and duties, Sisodia says many were spending from their own pockets to complete the assigned work and did not receive any perks.

Reacting to this development, senior AAP leader Ashutosh said: "The President's order to disqualify the AAP MLAs is unconstitutional and unsafe for democracy".

AAP also pointed out that now there are legislators serving as parliamentary secretaries in 11 states, including Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Karnataka, ruled by the Congress and the BJP.

The practice of "holding offices of profit" has been legalised in some Indian states but not in the capital Delhi. The opposition BJP has four members in the Assembly.

Kejriwal tweeted, "God had given us 67 assembly seats (in February 2015 polls) for a reason".

Addressing a gathering in Najafgarh on Sunday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, "They are trying to harass us by all means".

He said the party will now approach the High Court against this "extremely unconstitutional, unethical and biased decision of the EC". "We are expecting relief from the court".

Sharing the letter on Twitter, Sisodia said that the BJP has "imposed" bypolls to the 20 Assembly seats on the people of Delhi, effectively hampering the development works in the city for the next two years.

AAP withdraws plea seeking interim stay on MLAs disqualification