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Presidential poll: BJP loses strength

india Updated: Jul 12, 2007 18:57 IST
Shekhar Iyer
Shekhar Iyer
Hindustan Times
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President APJ Abdul Kalam has accepted the Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify BJP MP Krishan Murari Moghe on the ground that he held an office of profit by holding a post with the status of cabinet minister in Madhya Pradesh.

The Commission had sent its opinion to the President last month, causing the BJP to say that the EC could have waited till the completion of the election of the President.

But, party leaders say, the BJP has only to blame itself because its government had failed to include the post of chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Parliamentary Group held by Moghe in the list of positions that were granted exemption by an amendment to the Office of Profit Act.

The post held by Moghe was not covered when Parliament amended the law on the office of profit and included certain posts within its purview. The state assembly too had not enacted any exemption.

With Moghe’s disqualification, the BJP’s strength in the electoral college has come down by two members. Senior BJP leader Sahib Singh Verma died in a car mishap recently. (Moghe’s disqualification is to be notified by a gazette shortly.)

The EC acted on a complaint made by Jamuna Devi, leader of the Opposition in the state assembly, who said the state government appointed Moghe as chairman of the Madhya Pradesh Parliamentary Group with the status of Cabinet minister and with perquisites and allowances. Kalam had forwarded Devi’s complaint to the EC.

Senior BJP leader Sushma Swaraj had said action against her party MP Krishan Murari Moghe could have taken after the completion of the poll process. "It would have been appropriate if they have waited until July 19."