LIVE Disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs: Delhi High Court today will hear a plea filed by Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party (AAP) seeking a stay on Election Commission’s recommendation on offices of profit row. President Ram Nath Kovind has disqualified 20 of aap MLAs in Delhi for holding offices of profit. The ruling party had alleged that the development showed constitutional authorities were behaving like “handmaidens of the central government”. Kovind has given his assent yesterday to the recommendation by the EC. Notably, the AAP had approached the Delhi HC.
A political slugfest has erupted over the issue. BJP has welcomed the President’s decision and demanded CM Kejriwal’s resignation on moral grounds, the Congress alleged that there was a deal between the BJP and the AAP due to which the EC delayed the disqualification recommendation by a month. On the other hand, Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal tweeted, “There was some logic when God gave us 67 seats. The Almighty stood behind us in our every step. Otherwise we would have been nothing… Just don’t stray away from the path of truth.”
“They are trying to harass us by all means… They got CBI raid done at my office, but after 24-hour search they only found my four mufflers. Our MLAs were arrested. The L-G had called 400 files of our government (pertaining to decisions taken in two years), but when they did not find anything against us… they today disqualified our 20 MLAs,” CM Kejriwal said.
Interestingly, BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha backed the AAP with the former saying the decison depicts “tughluqshahi” of the worst order. “President’s order disqualifying the 20 AAP MLAs is complete miscarriage of natural justice. No hearing, no waiting for High Court’s order. It is Tughluqshahi of the worst order,” Yashwant Sinha tweeted. Shatrughan Sinha said the “politics of vendetta” against the AAP would not last long. AAP leader Ashutosh said the president’s order is “unconstitutional” and “dangerous for democracy.”
Saurab Bharadwaj, chief spokesperson of the party’s Delhi unit alleged the chief election commissioner and the election commissioners are expected to behave in an independent and impartial manner and not as “political stooges of their masters who appoint them”. “The Election Commission is a constitutional institution of continuity and not a retired members club of a group of political appointees,” he said. “A first reading of the Narendra Modi government appointed Election Commission’s biased opinion and subsequent notification issued by the BJP’s central government to hastily disqualify 20 elected Delhi MLAs shows the constitutional authorities today are behaving like handmaidens of the central government,” he alleged.
The EC had on Friday recommended to Kovind that the 20 MLAs were liable for disqualification for holding offices of profit between March 13, 2015, and September 8, 2016.