Disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs gets Prez nod

President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday accepted the Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify 20 MLAs of Delhi’s ruling Aam Aadmi Party for holding offices of profit. The party retaliated with describing the order as “unconstitutional” and “dangerous for democracy”.

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal attacked the Centre saying his government was being harassed.

A notification issued by the law ministry quoted the president as saying that in the light of the opinion expressed by the Election Commission (EC), the 20 members of the Delhi legislative assembly have been disqualified.

The AAP MLAs were appointed parliamentary secretaries and their appointment was described as them holding offices of profit by a petitioner. In a blow to the AAP, the EC had on Friday asked the President to disqualify its 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.

All the 20 AAP MLAs had moved the Delhi High Court challenging the EC’s recommendation but Justice Rekha Palli had refused to pass any interim order.

Addressing a gathering in Najafgarh, the chief minister said that when someone is on the path of truth, that person has to face a lot of problems.

Without naming the BJP, he said, “We are saving every single penny of the government, but there are a lot of problems coming our way. They are trying to harass us by all means. They have imposed false cases on us and our MLAs.”

“When they did not find anything against us, they today disqualified our 20 MLAs,” he said.

Kejriwal also said that the almighty would have given the party 67 seats keeping in mind the disqualification. He tweeted, “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.”

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