Arvind Kejriwal, Somnath Bharti face 'lost' Bharatiya Janata Party leaders' wrath

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Jan 21 2014, 22:38pm hrs
Two Bharatiya Janata Party leaders today filed separate petitions in the Delhi High Court seeking quashing of the election of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleague Somnath Bharti on the ground that they both allegedly exceeded the poll expense limit of Rs 14 lakh.

Former Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party chief Vijender Gupta and R P Mehra, who lost to Arvind Kejriwal and Somnath Bharti respectively in the recent Assembly polls, have filed the pleas under a provision of the Representation of People Act relating to disqualification of a lawmaker.

The petitions, which are likely to come up for hearing during the week, alleged that both Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders exceeded the poll expense limit of Rs 14 lakh fixed by the Election Commission.

They contended that Arvind Kejriwal and Somnath Bharti told the poll panel that they incurred Rs 4 and 5 lakh respectively in their election campaign.

"If we add these expenses with the cost incurred in holding musical concert at Jantar Mantar on November 23, 2013, it is proved that they spent more than Rs 14 lakh each in their election campaign," R P Mehra told reporters outside the Delhi High Court premises.

Gupta and Mehra, who contested from New Delhi and Malviya Nagar constituencies respectively, have submitted that the Election Commission has computed the cost of holding the concert 'Gunj' at Rs 40 lakh and if it is equally divided amongst three AAP candidates, including Arvind Kejriwal and Somnath Bharti - who organised the event, and then added to their whole expense, a clear cut case of disqualification is made out.

Moreover, the computation of cost done by the Commission has not been challenged within the stipulated 30 days and thus, it has attained finality, the petitions said.