21 AAP MLAs face disqualification, Kejriwal slams Prime Minister

Arvind Kejriwal, Aam Aadmi Party, AAP, 21 Parliamentary Secretaries
Arvind Kejriwal, Aam Aadmi Party, AAP, 21 Parliamentary Secretaries

New Delhi: It seem political instability is gradually gripping Arvind Kejriwal led Delhi Government as 21 legislatures belonging to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) could lose their membership after President Pranab did not approve the Dual Office Bill proposed by the Delhi government.

AAP on Monday held an emergency meeting to deliberate on possible situation if 21 of its MLAs appointed as Parliamentary Secretary lose membership of the Delhi Assembly on the ground of holding office of profit as a city government brought bill to give them immunity was rejected by the President.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal reacted sharply to the development and targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi, alleging that he does not respect democracy and was only fearful of the AAP.

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The meeting presided over by Kejriwal deliberated on President Pranab Mukherjee refusing to give assent to the Bill to exclude the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the office of profit.

At the meeting, many AAP leaders were severely critical of the Centre as they said President rejected the Bill on the recommendation of the Modi government.

Kejriwal took to the twitter to express his anger. He said no MLA was given a single paisa, car or bungalow in their capacity as Parliamentary Secretary and said they were giving services for free.

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“Modiji says all of you sit at home. Should not work,” he said adding MLAs were tasked to look after power supply, water supply, functioning of hospitals and schools.

“Modiji says neither will work nor will allow to work,” Kejriwal said.

The refusal by the President to give assent to the bill puts a question mark over the membership of the 21 AAP MLAs, who were appointed Parliamentary Secretaries.

The Delhi Government had sought an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997 through which it had sought “retrospective” exemption for the parliamentary secretaries from disqualification provisions.

The Bill was forwarded by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung to the Centre, which in turn was sent to the President with its comments.

Petitions have been filed with the President seeking disqualification of the these MLAs on the ground that they occupied office of profit in violation of Constitution.

Acting as a quasi judicial body, the Election Commission to whom the President referred the issue has sought replies of the MLAs.

Meanwhile, Delhi Transport minister, Gopal Rai, step down from his position citing health issues.

Rai had been facing corruption charges  in the app-based premium bus service. The bus service which was rolled out last month had to be revoked after LG Najeeb Jung voiced suspicion that the scheme was meant to favour one company. After some days, Leader of Opposition Vijender Gupta filed a complaint with the ACB.


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