AAP: 20 MLAs Stand Disqualified As President Approves EC Recommendation

AAP: 20 MLAs Stand Disqualified As President Approves EC Recommendation

 

New Delhi: President Ram Nath Kovind has accepted the recommendation of the Election Commission to disqualify 20 Delhi lawmakers of the Aam Aadmi Party for violating the provisions of the Office of Profit. The Election Commission had asked the President to disqualify the 20 lawmakers earlier this week, triggering vehement protests from Arvind Kejriwal's party. 
 

Mr Kejriwal's party has described the Commission's recommendation as "unconstitutional and undemocratic". The Aam Aadmi Party had said it would seek a meeting with the President to present its views. The 20 legislators, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, were not given an opportunity for defense.

Here are the 10 points you need to know: 

1- A notification from President Ram Nath Kovind's office declared , "Having considered the matter in the light of the opinion expressed by the Election Commission, I, Ram Nath Kovind, president of India, in exercise of the powers... do here hold that the aforesaid 20 members of the Delhi legislative assembly stand disqualified from being members of the said assembly".

 

2- The disqualification of the 20 lawmakers will not effect AAP's majority in the Delhi assembly. AAP has 66 seats in the 70-member assembly. Its numbers will now be down to 46 seats, which is well past the half-way mark of 35.

 

3-The President's approval of the Election Commission's recommendation paves the way for by-elections in the 20 assembly seats, giving the opposition BJP and Congress to increase their tally. The BJP has four seats in the house, the Congress none.  

 

4- AAP legislators, who moved the Delhi High Court on Friday, did not get any interim relief. The court posted the matter for hearing on Monday. The court had earlier quashed the AAP government's order appointing 21 legislators as parliamentary secretaries as it lacked the approval of the Lieutenant Governor, the administrative head of Delhi.

 

5- The Election Commission had asked President to disqualify the 20 lawmakers last week, triggering vehement protests from Arvind Kejriwal's party.

 

6- AAP said it would seek a meeting with the President to present its views. The 20 legislators, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, were not given an opportunity for defense according to the principles of natural justice.

 

7-"We had hoped to go to the President asking him to give us a chance to present ourselves. Now we received this news. AAP will knock the doors of HC and even SC if the need be," said Delhi minister Gopal Rai.

 

8-Both the Congress and the BJP has said Mr Kejriwal should quit on "moral grounds."

 

9-Soon after sweeping the Delhi elections in 2015, the AAP government passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997 to exempt the post of parliamentary secretary from the definition of office of profit with retrospective effect. On March 13, the government appointed the 21 legislators as parliamentary secretaries, saying they won't take remuneration and hence it didn't fall under the office of profit regulations.

 

10-In June 2016, Congress moved the Election Commission to seek disqualification of the legislators who held the post of parliamentary secretaries.


 

 

 

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