President Kovind approves disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs

AAP leader Gopal Rai addresses a press conference at the party office in New Delhi

In a major setback to Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), President Ram Nath Kovind approved the disqualification of 20 of its MLAs in Delhi on charges of holding Office of Profit, an official spokesman of the Rashtrapathi Bhavan said on Sunday.

AAP has described the Commission's recommendation as "unconstitutional and undemocratic". The development came after Congress urged chief election commissioner Achal Kumar Joti to disqualify the 20 legislators, earlier this month.

In its opinion sent to President Kovind, the EC said by being parliamentary secretaries, the MLAs held office of profit and were liable to be disqualified as MLAs of the Delhi Assembly, according to a PTI report.

It will still have comfortable majority even though the number of MLAs in the 70-seat assembly will reduce from 66 to 46.

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Maken on Friday said that chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has lost moral right to govern and should immediately resign. Now we received this news.

March 13, 2015: After assuming power, Kejriwal government passes an order appointing 21 MLAs as "parliamentary secretaries" to ministers. "AAP will knock the doors of HC and even SC if the need be".

The court was referring to the MLAs' petitions filed in August 2017 challenging the poll panel's decision to continue hearing a complaint against them for allegedly holding an office of profit. Sisodia further said that the party will move the court on the matter as the EC didn't give them an opportunity to explain their stand in the case. "Election Commission's recommendation has made disqualification of AAP MLAs a certainty".

Initially, the petition was directed at 21 MLAs, but one MLA, named Jarnail Singh, resigned to contest in the Punjab elections previous year. He claimed that the Election Commission's decision to disqualify the MLAs was biased.

Hours after the news about the EC's recommendation for disqualification of the 20 AAP MLAs spread yesterday, senior leaders of Delhi units of both the Congress and the BJP held meetings to discuss the scenario and possibility of bypolls.

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