AAP strength in Delhi Assembly down to 46 as President approves disqualification of 20 MLAs
In a major setback to Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), President has approved the Election Commission of India (ECI) decision to disqualify the 20 legislators of the party.
The strength of AAP in the Assembly would now be down to 46. Though AAP government is not going to fall as the party still has a majority in the house, this is a jolt to the party. In the 70 member house, AAP now has 46 members.
AAP leaders have said that the Election Commission acted under pressure. They have also said that President Ramnath Kovind took action in a haste and that the party hopes that they would get relief from the judiciary.
The action has been taken on the Office of Profit issue. These legislators have been disqualified on grounds of holding office of profit as parliamentary secretaries. One of the 21 MLAs, had already resigned, hence the remaining 20 stand disqualified.
Initially, the office of profit case was against 21 MLAs. Rajouri Garden MLA Jarnail Singh had resigned and quit his membership of the Assembly to contest poll in Punjab Assembly. Hence, the figure came down from 21 to 20.
Though in other states, there have been similar such cases but action hasn't been as prompt. In Madhya Pradesh, minister Narottam Mishra was disqualified but he remains a minister even today. Clearly, AAP, a fledgling party has a long way to go in electoral politics in the country.