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God gave us 67 seats knowing this day was coming: Arvind Kejriwal on disqualification of AAP MLAs

President on Sunday accepted EC's recommendation to disqualify 20 MLAs of Delhi's ruling AAP for holding offices of profit.

God gave us 67 seats knowing this day was coming: Arvind Kejriwal on disqualification of AAP MLAs
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New Delhi: Reacting to the disqualification of twenty Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Sunday that truth always prevails in the end.

"We are being tortured from all sides. False cases were filed against us. I was raided by the CBI. They find only Kejriwal corrupt in this whole country. Rest all are honest. When nothing worked, our twenty MLAs were disqualified today," he said at a gathering in Najafgarh.

The Delhi CM added, "when you walk on the path of truth and honesty, many obstacles come your way. But powers of the universe help you when you walk on it. Because you are not working for yourself, but for the society and the country. The public is witnessing everything. We will get justice and truth will prevail in the end."

President Ram Nath Kovind on Sunday accepted the Election Commission's recommendation to disqualify MLAs of Delhi's ruling AAP for holding offices of profit.

"Having considered the matter in the light of the opinion expressed by the Election Commission, I, Ram Nath Kovind, President of India, in the exercise of the powers. Do here hold that the aforesaid 20 members of the Delhi legislative Assembly stand disqualified from being members of the said Assembly," a notification issued by the Law Ministry quoted the President as saying.

Parliamentary secretaries assist ministers with their work. AAP insists that despite holding the office these MLAs did not take any salaries or perks.

In its opinion sent to President Kovind, the EC had said that the MLAs, by occupying the post of parliamentary secretaries between March 13, 2015, and September 8, 2016, had held offices of profit and were liable to be disqualified as legislators.

"Whether or not the individual parliamentary secretaries had actually derived the benefits or participated in executive functions of the government is of no relevance" as the Supreme Court in the Jaya Bachchan case had laid down that if the post falls under office of profit, the disqualification is imminent, the EC had said, as per PTI.

The poll panel had also said that it is basing its opinion on judicial pronouncements of the past, the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi Act and the Constitution.

The petition before the ECI was filed by one Prashant Patel against 21 MLAs who were appointed as parliamentary secretaries by the AAP government in Delhi.

The proceedings against Jarnail Singh were dropped after he resigned as the Rajouri Garden MLA to contest the Punjab Assembly polls.

The President is bound by the recommendation of the Commission. Under the rules, petitions to the President seeking disqualification of lawmakers are referred to the EC. The poll panel takes a decision and sends its recommendation to the Rashtrapati Bhavan which is accepted.

Meanwhile, on January 19, 2018, the Delhi High Court too had refused to pass any interim order of protection to AAP MLAs. During the hearing, the court had made it clear that it was not inclined to pass any interim order in view of the conduct of the MLAs in the proceedings before the poll panel.

It was displeased by the MLAs' conduct of telling the poll panel not to go ahead with the matter as the issue has been challenged in the HC.

The court was referring to the MLAs' petitions filed in August 2017 challenging the poll panel's decision to continue hearing a complaint against them for allegedly holding an office of profit.

(With PTI inputs)