Senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha on Sunday termed President Ram Nath Kovind’s approval of Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs as “Tughlaqshahi” (arbitrary). “President’s order disqualifying the 20 AAP MLAs is a complete miscarriage of natural justice. No hearing, no waiting for High Court’s order. It is Tughluqshahi of the worst order,” he tweeted.
Following Kovind’s approval, the Union Law and Justice Ministry issued a notification saying that the President has held that the 20 members of Delhi Legislative Assembly stand disqualified under 15 (1) (a) of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) act. The Election Commission had on Friday recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs for holding the office of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries. It gave its opinion to the President on a complaint by advocate Prashant Patel, a member of the Hindu Legal Cell, in June 2015, who petitioned then-President Pranab Mukherjee alleging illegality in the appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries.
The application by Patel said 21 AAP MLAs, including Jarnail Singh (Rajouri Garden) who resigned to contest the Punjab Assembly polls last year, were appointed Parliamentary Secretaries to Ministers in the Delhi government in violation of the Constitution. In a major blow to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday approved the disqualification of twenty MLAs in Delhi on charges of holding Office of Profit, an official spokesman said on Sunday. Reacting to the development, Congress leader Ajay Maken said that AAP had received help from the BJP and the Election Commission. He said had the decision come before December 22, the 20 MLAs would’ve been disqualified and couldn’t have voted for the Rajya Sabha elections.