AAP’s Petition Challenging Disqualification of 20 MLAs to be Heard in Delhi High Court: Latest Developments
New Delhi, Jan 22: The turbulence that has hit Delhi’s politics is likely to continue for some time with the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) deciding to fight it out against the decision to disqualify 20 of its MLAs. The AAP’s petition challenging President Ram Nath Kovind’s approval of Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify 20 MLAs for violating the provisions of the Office of Profit will be heard in the Delhi High Court later on Monday.
1. Though the disqualification will not affect the AAP’s majority, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party is said to be preparing for elections on 20 seats. AAP, which has 66 seats on the 70-member Delhi Assembly, will have 46 members after the disqualification of MLAs but the number is still way above the majority mark – 35.
2. Latching onto the opportunity, both the Congress, which has no member in the Assembly, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has four MLAs, have demanded Kejriwal to step down on moral grounds.
3. However, the Delhi CM has made it clear that he is not the one who would be intimidated by such steps. “They slapped fake cases on our legislators, got the CBI to conduct raids on me, but they found nothing. In the end, they disqualified 20 of our MLAs. 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 said at en event in Delhi soon after President’s approval.
4. Reacting to the development, senior AAP leader Ashutosh said, “President’s order to disqualify AAP MLAs is unconstitutional and dangerous for democracy.” Alka Lamba, who is among the disqualified MLAs, said the decision was “painful” and the President should have heard them out before arriving at any conclusion.
5. On the other hand, dissident BJP leaders Yashwant Sinha and Shatrughan Sinha have openly supported the AAP amid the crisis. Former Finance Minister Yashwant singh described disqualification of AAP MLAs as a “tughlaqi” decision.
6. “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.
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 (@YashwantSinha) January 21, 2018
7. Actor-turned- politician Shatrughan Sinha backed the AAP, saying the “politics of vendetta” would not last long. “Hope wish & pray that you get divine justice soon, sooner the better . ‘AAP’ ki team aur khaas kar ‘AAP’ ko bahut bahut badhaai. Remember, when the going gets tough the tough get going. Jai Hind!” the Patna Sahib MP tweeted.
Hope wish & pray that you get divine justice soon, sooner the better .
‘AAP’ ki team aur khaas kar ‘AAP’ ko bahut bahut badhaai. Remember, when the going gets tough the tough get going.
— Shatrughan Sinha (@ShatruganSinha) January 21, 2018
8. The Election Commission had on Friday recommended to President Kovind that the 20 MLAs were liable for disqualification for holding offices of profit between March 13, 2015, and September 8, 2016. A government notification on Sunday (January 21) said the President has disqualified 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit.
9. If AAP fails to get reprieve from the court, Delhi will have bypolls for the 20 seats.
10. The 20 MLAs disqualified include, Adarsh Shastri (Dwarka), Alka Lamba (Chandni Chowk), Anil Bajpai (Gandhi Nagar), Avtar Singh (Kalkaji), Kailash Gahlot (Najafgarh) — who is also a minister — Madan Lal (Kasturba Nagar), Manoj Kumar (Kondli), Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli), Nitin Tyagi (Laxmi Nagar), Praveen Kumar (Jangpura), Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur), Rajesh Rishi (Janakpuri), Sanjeev Jha (Burari), Sarita Singh (Rohtas Nagar), Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar), Sharad Kumar (Narela), Shiv Charan Goel (Moti Nagar), Sukhbir Singh (Mundka), Vijendar Garg (Rajinder Nagar) and Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar).