Resign on moral grounds: Oppn steps up pressure on AAP MLAs
The election commission of India had set aside the petition of the Aam Aadmi Party, challenging the ‘maintainability’ of the ongoing hearing by the poll body against 21 AAP legislators on grounds that the Delhi High Court had already set aside their appointment as parliamentary secretaries.delhi Updated: Jun 28, 2017 16:41 IST
The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday united to welcome the election commission’s order rejecting the plea of 21 AAP legislators to drop the office-of-profit case against them, and demanded their resignations on ‘moral grounds’.
“After the Delhi High Court, the election commission has also found these Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs guilty of enjoying the office of profit as Parliamentary secretaries. These legislators now have no moral or legal rights to continue as MLAs,” Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said on Saturday.
Of these MLAs, Jarnail Singh had resigned from the Rajouri Garden seat in January to contest the Punjab Assembly elections.
The seat was won by the BJP in a by-election days ahead of the municipal elections in which the AAP emerged distant second even as the saffron party returned to power for the third consecutive term in the three municipal corporations.
The election commission of India had set aside the petition of the Aam Aadmi Party, challenging the ‘maintainability’ of the ongoing hearing by the poll body against 21 AAP legislators on grounds that the Delhi High Court had already set aside their appointment as parliamentary secretaries.
However, the poll panel ruled on Friday that interpretation of the Delhi High Court order by the AAP MLAs was not ‘legally tenable’ and the 21 MLAs “did hold de facto posts of Parliamentary secretaries from March 13, 2015, to September 8, 2016”.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken too demanded the resignation of all the AAP MLAs, who were ‘illegally’ appointed, on moral grounds.
“During the course of the hearing, the AAP MLAs had filed five formal applications for adjournment of the matter on some pretext or the other, solely with the aim to delay the proceedings. One such attempt to buy time before the EC was through this application. The election commission has rejected the plea of the AAP MLAs and has held that all 20 MLAs are liable to be prosecuted for the perks and benefits they received illegally during the period,” Maken said.
First Published: Jun 24, 2017 23:52 IST