The Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify 20 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs could result in the shrinking of AAP’s massive majority in the Delhi Assembly. Delivering a major blow to Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP, the Election Commission on Friday asked the President of the party to disqualify 20 MLAs for holding ‘office-of-profit’ as parliamentary secretaries. The decision didn’t go down well with AAP who said that they did not take any salaries or perks, as well as with former EC officials who claimed that the central poll body took the decision without holding any hearing on the merits of the complaint against the 20 MLAs.
Here are the top developments on the matter:
1. Soon after, the recommendation from EC was communicated to the President who will send the report to the Ministry of Home Affairs. The recent developments suggest that if the MLAs facing disqualification do not receive relaxation from the courts then the AAP.
2. AAP filed an interim relief late evening on Friday which was refused by the Delhi High Court. However, AAP has not pressed the panic button yet as they will still be in the majority but the number will come down to 45.
3. Presently, the petition was made to disqualify 21 MLAs, but one resigned a few months back. Once the president accepts the recommendation, by-elections will have to be held for 20 Assembly seats.
4. AAP’s blow means opportunity for Congress and in a meeting chaired by Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken and AICC in-charge of the state unit PC Chacko, the party functionaries discussed the emerging scenario and possible elections in the 20 Assembly seats. Congress has decided to hold a protest against AAP on the issue of corruption and hold conventions in the 20 seats.
5. BJP also jumped in to criticise AAP with Sambit Patra claim that the party which started its political journey from India Against Corruption movement has become “I am corruption”. Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari hailed the EC’s decision, said that it was a ‘moral defeat’ for Kejriwal who should resign. He said the BJP stands prepared for elections at all times.