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Election Commission Disqualifies 20 AAP MLAs Holding 'Office Of Profit'

News World India | 0
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| January 19 , 2018 , 15:12 IST

Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) received a huge blow on Friday when Election Commission 20 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs for holding 'office of profit'. EC has sent the recommendation for approval to President Ram Nath Kovind.

The disqualification will not only reduce Kejriwal's cabinet to 47 from 67 but also lead to by-elections in Delhi. The development came after Congress urged chief election commissioner Achal Kumar Joti to disqualify the 20 legislators, earlier this month.

In case of approval by the President, the party will be approaching judicial authorities. Notably, the decision came days before the retirement of current EC chief, who refused to acknowledge the plea by AAP MLAs to drop the cases against them in June last year.

The leaders of opposition parties took this opportunity to target Arvind Kejriwal and his governance. While Congress Delhi chief Ajay Maken asked the CM to discontinue without any inhibitions, BJP's former Delhi President Vijender Gupta asked the party to provide answers to public.

Ever since the party came into power post re-elections in 2015, a controversy over the AAP MLAs holding 'office of profit' as parliamentary secretaries starting brewing. Advocate Prashant Patel also filed a petition seeking their disqualification.

AAP government passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997 in March 2015 to exempt the posts of Parliamentary Secretary from the definition of office of profit with retrospective effect. However, the then President Pranab Mukherjee refused to give assent and referred the matter to the Election Commission.