Appealing to Delhiites to give a befitting reply, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday asked in an open letter whether the Election Commission (EC) was right in disqualifying 20 Aam Aadmi Party MLAs for holding an office of profit. He said the Centre, had in the last three years, not left any stone unturned to victimise the Kejriwal government.
"The charge against the 20 AAP legislators is that they accepted another office of profit - of "Parliamentary Secretary" - and hence forfeited their posts as elected peoples' representatives", the Sena said. AAP insisted that despite holding the office these MLAs did not take any salaries or perks.
The president is bound to act in accordance with the poll panel's recommendation. Under the rules, petitions to the President seeking disqualification of lawmakers are referred to the EC. State governments are entitled under Article 191 of the Constitution to exclude posts from the scope of "office of profit".
The list of 20 disqualified legislators include prominent names, like Najafgarh legislator Kailash Gahlot who is also Delhi Transport Minister, Chandni Chowk legislator Alka Lamba, Burari legislator Sanjeev Jha, Kalkaji legislator Avtar Singh and Narela legislator Sharad Kumar.
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The Aam Aadmi Party has made a decision to approach Delhi High Court to seek an interim injunction against the President's order. The court has listed the case for a hearing today.
"The matter was pending before Delhi high court".
"With the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs, truth has triumphed", Tiwari told reporters. The only technical aspect was that now the Delhi Assembly Speaker will have to notify the 20 vacancies for the EC to announce the bypolls. The opposition BJP has four members in the Assembly. "The is now being used to destabilize the government in Delhi by the disqualification of 20 MLAs without any basis", party's national spokesman Ashutosh said here on Saturday.
"Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal is facing a crisis, and that is because of the public campaign against corruption and injustice", the Shiv Sena said.
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"I have always said that it was God's grace".
AAP also has a problem with internal dissensions, as many senior leaders are still smarting at Rajya Sabha tickets being handed out to so-called outsiders. Political observers point out that though Kejriwal's Govt. doesn't face an immediate threat in the Assembly as it still enjoys a majority (of 46 seats), it would find it tough to put its across to the voters during the campaign prior to the by-polls. A notification issued by the law ministry quoted the president as saying that in the light of the opinion expressed by the EC, the 20 members of the Delhi legislative assembly have been disqualified.
They are trying to harass us by all means. "AAP will knock the doors of the High Court and even the Supreme Court if the need be".
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Brent crude for March, the global oil benchmark, gave up 70 cents, or 1%, to $68.61 a barrel on London's ICE Futures exchange. World oil prices fell on Friday on the data on the growth of oil production and gasoline reserves in the U.S.