Election Commission (EC) Disqualified 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs

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It is a big setback for the ruling party in Delhi, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). the Election Commission (EC) on Friday disqualified 20 of AAP MLAs from Delhi Assembly finding them guilty on the grounds of holding ‘office of profit’. The disqualification of the legislators is expected to pave way for by-elections in the National Capital.

The Election commission has written and sent its recommendation to President Ram Nath Kovind for his assent, which he’s fully expected to give. In cases where petitions are made seeking disqualification of lawmakers, the President sends a reference to the EC which decides on the case by sending back its opinion.

AAP, which registered a record victory in 2015 elections, has been reeling under controversies ever since. The controversy over the MLAs holding “office of profit” (as parliamentary secretaries) started soon after AAP’s victory in the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections. The EC has now sent its recommendation to disqualify the 20 MLAs to President for his approval.

In between, AAP MLAs moved Delhi High Court against Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify them for allegedly holding offices of profit. The pleas by seven MLAs was mentioned before a bench headed by Acting Chief Justice Gita Mittal for urgent hearing, which was listed for today itself.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which won 67 of the 70 Assembly seats, continues to enjoy a majority in the Delhi Assembly even after the disqualification of the 20 MLAs. Initially, the case was against 21 AAP MLAs but the number now stands at 20 after party MLA Jarnail Singh resigned from the post to contest against former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal in Punjab.

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