BJP welcomes President's decision, Congress says ready for bypolls — AAP MLAs disqualification

MLAs’ disqualification Shatrughan Sinha extends support to AAP

BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha

Since the President has accepted the recommendation of the EC, the poll panel is bound to announce byelections for these 20 Assembly seats within six months.

On 19 January, Election Commission of India recommended disqualification of its 20 MLAs for holding "profit for office". "At last today, they disqualified 20 of our MLAs", Kejriwal added. There appears to be no major threat to Delhi's AAP government as the party had won a massive 67 out of 70 seats in February 2015 elections. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, reacting a little late, tweeted that his party will continue to tread on the path of truth with the grace of almighty.

AAP MLAs were appointed parliamentary secretaries and this was described by petitioner Prashant Patel as them holding offices of profit.

Governor Ganga Prasad has sent a reminder to the Election Commission of India regarding disqualification of 17 Meghalaya parliamentary secretaries for holding the office of profit. "AAP has been helped by BJP & EC by delaying the decision for over 3 weeks".

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. Reacting to the development, senior AAP leader Ashutosh said, “Presidents order to disqualify AAP MLAs is unconstitutional and risky for democracy.”.

Maken, who had also moved a petition before the EC for their disqualification, also said that the Parliamentary Secretaries enjoyed all facilities of the government and he has given all the details of their expenditure.

Following Kovind's approval, the Union law and justice ministry issued a notification saying that the President has held that the 20 members of Delhi Legislative Assembly stand disqualified under 15 (1) (a) of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) act.

On Sunday, AAP's Gopal Rai said the party will approach the apex court: "We had hoped to go to the President asking him to give us a chance to present ourselves".

Initially, the petition was directed at 21 MLAs, but one MLA, named Jarnail Singh, resigned to contest in the Punjab elections a year ago.

"The Election Commission is a constitutional institution of continuity and not a retired members club of a group of political appointees", he said.

This disqualification will lead to by-polls in Delhi.

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