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Delhi: Rebel AAP legislators Puskhar, Shehrawat may be in trouble for addressing rallies against party

Senior AAP leaders said they have received complaints against the two MLAs from people in their respective constituencies

delhi Updated: Feb 18, 2017 21:35 IST
Vishal Kant
Vishal Kant
Hindustan Times
AAP MLAs,Rebel AAP MLAs,Pankaj Pushkar
Pankaj Puskhar

Rebel Aam Aadmi Party legislators Devinder Shehrawat and Pankaj Puskhar could be headed for trouble for addressing political rallies against their party.

Senior AAP leaders said they have received complaints against the two MLAs from people in their respective constituencies. Sources said they are also likely to register a complaint with the Delhi Assembly Speaker, seeking their disqualification on grounds of having ‘voluntarily’ given up their membership.

While the Bijwasan legislator Shehrawat has been speaking against the party for quite some time and has levelled several allegations against party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal, the two-time legislator reportedly also campaigned against AAP in Punjab and Goa elections, party leaders said.

Read: Report Card: Two years of AAP Government in Delhi

Similarly, Pankaj Pushkar recently addressed the rally of Swaraj India — the party founded by ousted AAP leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan — at Ramlila Maidan where the party announced to contest the upcoming municipal elections.

While Shehrawat was suspended from the party last year after he opened a front against the top leadership, Pushkar continues to be in the party. The party has, however, till now stopped short of expelling the rebel legislators, which also includes former minister Asim Ahmed Khan, from expelling them as that would retain their membership in the House.

“Several people from Bijwasan met senior leaders demanding action against the legislator. They argued that they had voted for Shehrawat because he was an AAP candidate, but he has been openly working against the party. The same complaint has also been received against Pushkar,” a source said, adding that the delegation could approach the Delhi assembly Speaker, seeking their disqualification.

Read: Two years of AAP govt: Survey shows Delhi’s Kejriwal govt curbed corruption

Of all the grounds mentioned in the anti-defection law, ‘voluntarily’ giving up membership of the parent party also invites disqualification as member of the House. Other grounds include violation of the whip, besides joining other party after his election.

Sources said there has been precedent in the past when an elected representative was disqualified even for having “perceived” to have voluntarily left their party.

“Three BSP MPs were disqualified in 2008 by Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee on similar grounds of addressing rallies in favour of Samajwadi Party. And the evidence which were produced were media reports,” a senior official said.

First Published: Feb 17, 2017 23:06 IST