At a time when Aam Aadmi Party faces disqualification of its 20 MLAs in connected with the Óffice of Profit’case, Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Saturday appealed to President Ram Nath Kovind to hear his party’s view on the matter as well.
Sisodia said, “There was no hearing, we were not given a chance to explain our stand. We appeal to the President to hear our view too, MLAs will meet President also.”
Earlier in the day, AAP had accused EC of ‘discrimination’ and said the poll panel had no right to recommend disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs as the Delhi High Court had said they are not Parliamentary secretaries. Addressing a press conference, AAP national spokesperson Sanjay Singh asked, “How could the Election Commission recommend disqualification of the 20 AAP MLA as the Delhi High Court had said they are not Parliamentary Secretaries?”
“In other states, wherever the Parliamentary Secretaries were appointed, they were given the status of minister of state and all facilities were given to them. However, this was not what happened in Delhi, even then discrimination is happening with us,” he added.
The poll panel on Friday recommended to the President the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs on charges of holding an ‘Office of Profit’. The 20 AAP legislators have been accused of being unconstitutionally appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries to aid various ministers of the Delhi government.
Lauding the Election Commission’s recommendation, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari had said it was a “moral defeat” for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and he should resign.
Reacting to Tiwari’s remark, Sanjay Singh said, “Manoj Tiwari should ask for the resignation of the Prime Minister as it was during his (Narendra Modi) government in Gujarat that Parliamentary Secretaries were appointed and they were given the status of deputy ministers and were provided with all the facilities.”
“Those who will fight against the system, corruption, they will face the same situation.It’s not a new thing, but in the end, truth will emerge as victorious,” Singh added.
AAP leader Gopal Rai, who was also present on the occasion, alleged that Chief Election Commissioner A K Joti, who will retire in two days, took the decision of recommending disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs under pressure.
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Meanwhile, Sharad Yadav today said the disqualification of AAP MLAs by the poll panel was undemocratic. “Disqualification of AAP MLAs was undemocratic as they were not even heard which is against natural justice. Constitutional bodies in d country are being misused now a days.Appeal to public to deeply think about which hands d country will be secured in future,” Yadav said on Twitter.
The latest development means the AAP MLAs are set to be disqualified, which could pave way for a mini Assembly election in the national capital. However, the threat for the party is not immediate as even after the disqualification of the 20 MLAs, the party continues to enjoy a majority in the 70 member house. The AAP had secured 67 out of the 70 Assembly seats in 2015 assembly elections.