Setback for Arvind Kejriwal: President Kovind approves disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs

AAP MLA Alka Lamba

Reacting to this development, senior AAP leader Ashutosh said: "The President's order to disqualify the AAP MLAs is unconstitutional and unsafe for democracy".

Election Commission, after hearing the petition of Congress, had found AAP MLAs guilty of holding offices of profit as parliamentary secretaries in Delhi government. "And the poll panel only sent its recommendations to disqualify the 20 AAP MLAs to the President on January 19", he said, asking what had transpired between the BJP, AAP and the EC in this period.

After coming to power in 2015, the AAP government in Delhi had passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Act, 1997, and had asked the EC to exempt the parliament secretaries from the definition of office of profit.

Otherwise we would have been nothing. The new development incited a war of words between leaders of Aam Aadmi Party and the opposition parties. On Friday, the EC lawyer had reportedly expressed ignorance on any recommendations made by the poll body. All eyes will be on the Delhi high court where a petition filed by some disqualified AAP MLAs will come up for hearing today.

The ECI recommended their disqualification citing their appointed as parliamentary secretaries as "unconstitutional".

Kovind gave his assent yesterday to the recommendation by the Election Commission (EC).




Addressing the media at Gandhi Bhavan along with Reventh Reddy, Shabbir said the six MLAs were enjoying all perks, salaries and also protocol on par with those of cabinet ministers though their appointment has been struck down by the court.

The 20 legislators who have been disqualified are - Kailash Gehlot, Naresh Yadav, Som Dutt, Praveen Kumar, Nitin Tyagi, Adarsh Shastri, Sajeev Jha, Jarnail Singh, Sukhvir Singh, Madan Lal, Sarita Singh, Alka Lamba, Manoj Kumar, Avtar Singh, Vijendar Garg Vijay, Rajesh Gupta, Sharad Kumar and Shiv Charan Goel.

The AAP vowed to fight legally, right up to the Supreme Court.

This disqualification will lead to by-polls in Delhi.

Rai said the party members in all 70 constituencies will join the Confederation for All India Traders (CAIT) when traders observe a day long "Delhi trade bandh" on January 23 to lodge their protests against ongoing sealing of business establishments in the city.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

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