AAP to approach President over disqualification of MLAs

 

New Delhi, Jan 21: Deputy Chief Minister and senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia on Saturday said the party will meet President Ram Nath Kovind against a recommendation of the Election Commission (EC) to disqualify 20 party MLAs for holding office of profit. On Friday, the EC recommended to the President to disqualify 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs for holding office of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries, triggering calls for the resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. However, the President does not enjoy much of discretion in such matters and it is almost sure that he would go by the poll panel's recommendation. Addressing media persons on Saturday, Sisodia said the Commission's decision to disqualify the MLAs without giving them a hearing was "unconstitutional" and they were asking for an appointment with the President to present their case before him. "We will appeal to the President to ask the Election Commission to review all proofs that the MLAs have and give them a hearing," Sisodia said and added that the MLAs would also inform the President about the "EC's biased opinion".  "The principle of natural justice was not followed in the process," the Deputy Chief Minister said.  A party volunteer told IANS that Sisodia's comments came after a meeting of the 20 MLAs with Kejriwal and Sisodia at the Chief Minister's residence in the evening.  Sisodia said they were positive that the MLAs would get relief from the court and added that they were also not afraid to contest election.  He said that none of the MLAs took a profit of one paisa. "Not even a single vehicle or a single bungalow or not even an office was taken by the MLAs. They used to spend their own money and use their own vehicles. They did not draw any salary," he said.  Sisodia said this was not the first attack on the party, as in the past Kejriwal's house had been raided by the CBI, fake FIRs were lodged against their MLAs and even efforts were made to buy AAP MLAs.  He said all this was being done by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as they were scared of the AAP government entering its fourth year and added that the latest attack was a conspiracy to bring down their government.  Sisodia said the BJP was doing all this to derail the development works taking place in the city.  "In 20 states, BJP and Congress have appointed parliamentary secretaries and they are drawing lakhs of rupees as salary," he said.

IANS