Office of profit case: President gives nod to axe 20 AAP MLAs
New Delhi: With President Ram Nath Kovind accepting the Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify 20 MLAs of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) for holding offices of profit, the stage is set for a mini-election in the nation’s capital as the election panel now has to hold byelections in these Assembly seats within six months.
Reacting to this development, senior AAP leader Ashutosh said: “The President’s order to disqualify the AAP MLAs is unconstitutional and dangerous for democracy.”
A notification issued by the law ministry on Sunday quoted the President as saying that in light of the opinion given by the Election Commission, the 20 members of the Delhi Legislative Assembly had been disqualified.
In a blow to the AAP, the EC had on Friday asked the President to disqualify these 20 MLAs.
“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,” the notification said.
Once the Delhi Assembly Speaker declares 20 vacancies in the House, the AAP’s strength will come down from 66 to 46. But it will still have a comfortable majority as the Opposition has only four MLAs.
Delhi Chief Minister and AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal tweeted on Sunday: “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.”
Kejriwal hits out at Centre
Addressing a gathering in Najafgarh on Sunday, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said, “They are trying to harass us by all means... They got a CBI raid done at my office, but after a 24-hour search they only found my four mufflers. Our MLAs were arrested.”
He added, “The L-G had called 400 files of our government (pertaining to decisions taken in two years), but they did not find anything against us. When they did not find anything against us, they today disqualified our 20 MLAs.”