Election Commission is biased, says AAP in fresh attack
Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP alleged that the Election Commission was “biased” and “conspiring with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to destabilise” the elected government in Delhi.Updated: Apr 21, 2018 10:20 IST
New Delhi, Hindustan Times
In a fresh attack on the Election Commission, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Friday alleged that the poll panel was “biased” and “conspiring with Prime Minister Narendra Modi to destabilise” the elected government in Delhi.
The poll panel has not responded to the allegations so far.
AAP’s chief spokesperson, Saurabh Bharadwaj, made these charges while referring to the EC’s former legal advisor SK Mendiratta’s interaction with the Indian Express, where the latter had said his opinion was not sought before the poll panel disqualified 20 AAP MLAs for holding offices of profit.
Mendiratta had also said that his view was not taken before announcing dates for the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh polls as well.
Addressing a press conference, Bharadwaj said that when the EC started hearing the matter related to 20 parliamentary secretaries, the party had stressed that the way poll body had been behaving, which made it appear that it was “biased”. After that when the Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh dates were announced separately, the Congress alleged that the EC was biased.
“If advice was not taken from him (Mendiratta), it means that it was coming from the Prime Minister’s Office. Now it is clear and proven that EC is biased. If a constitutional body like the EC is biased, this is a massive danger as entire democracy and democratic process is done under the watchful eye of the poll panel,” Bharadwaj said.
In its January 19 order, the EC had recommended to President Ram Nath Kovind the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs for holding offices of profit when they were appointed as parliamentary secretaries in 2015.
The Delhi High Court had on March 23 set aside the disqualification of the 20 AAP MLAs on the grounds that no oral hearing was given to the MLAs before disqualifying them. The court had ruled it was a “violation of natural justice” and the EC’s recommendation to the President seeking the disqualification of the MLAs was “bad in law”.
Now the EC will on May 17 conduct an oral hearing of the 20 AAP MLAs in the case.
First Published: Apr 21, 2018 10:20 IST