President Ram Nath Kovind accepts EC view, disqualifies 20 MLAs


In a big blow to AAP, President Ram Nath Kovind approved the disqualification of 20 MLAs for holding 'office of profit, ' two days after the EC's recommendation.

The recommendation was sent on Friday.

Aam Aadmi Party approached the High Court but got no relief from there. On the President's assent, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, said in a rally in Najafgarh, "Many obstacles come into your way when you walk on the path of truth and honesty".

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.

Earlier Supreme Court rulling had directed the state government over the appointment of Parliamentary Secretary on the ground that that such appointment is illeglal as it amount to the holding of office of profit. "AAP has been helped by BJP & EC by delaying the decision for over 3 weeks".

"Having considered the matter in the light of the opinion expressed by the Election Commission, I, Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, in the exercise of the powers".

Launching a scathing attack, Ajay Maken said that Election Commission should have taken the decision on December 20.

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AAP leader Ashutosh called the development "unconstitutional" and "dangerous for democracy".

Prasad had referred the matter to the Election Commission on November 16.

MLAs who are stranded in the office of profit has finally been canceled.

Sujit Dey, counsel for the 10 legislators, said the issue of disqualification has become "infructuous" since the post of Parliamentary Secretary itself had ceased to exist, and all parliamentary secretaries had immediately resigned after the High Court verdict.

The disqualification will not put into jeopardy Kejriwal's government because of its huge majority in the Delhi assembly. Alka Lamba, also one of the 20 MLAs to be disqualified, described the decision of the President as "painful" and said that the President should have heard them out once before arriving to any conclusion.

The complaint was against 21 MLAs out of which one MLA Jarnail Singh had resigned in January previous year for contesting Punjab Assembly Polls.