The AAP on Monday boycotted President Ram Nath Kovind’s address to Parliament in protest against the ongoing sealing drive in Delhi and disqualification of 20 party MLAs for allegedly holding an office of profit. AAP Rajya Sabha member Sanjay Singh, who along with ND Gupta and Sushil Gupta, took oath in the House, alleged the party and its government in Delhi were being “targeted intentionally”.
The three MPs and AAP Lok Sabha members Bhagwant Mann, Sadhu Singh raised slogans near the Mahatma Gandhi statue on the Parliament premises. “We raised the matter of the drive, disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs and FDI in the retail sector. We demanded that the drive be ended by bringing a bill and conversion charges levied on traders be abolished,” Singh said.
On the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs, he said, “Are there two laws in the country? In Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh … which have parliamentary secretaries, high courts have canceled their appointment, but not their (assembly) membership. In Delhi, the high court canceled their appointment and their (assembly) membership too.” Later, he said, AAP MPs boycotted the President’s address to the joint sitting of Parliament.
The Election Commission recently recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs for allegedly holding an office of profit. The president had on January 20 given his assent to it. The MLAs were appointed parliamentary secretaries by the AAP government to assist ministers in 2015.
Earlier in the day, the Delhi High Court transferred to a division bench the pleas of AAP MLAs, seeking quashing of their disqualification from the Delhi Assembly for holding office of profit. The court also extended its January 24 order restraining the EC from issuing any notification announcing bye-elections to fill vacancies of the 20 Assembly seats whose MLAs have been disqualified.
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