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Jaya disqualified, Amar to quit

Singh's decision came after the Prez approved Jaya's disqualification from the RS for holding an office of profit.

india Updated: Mar 17, 2006 22:23 IST
Indo-Asian News Service
Indo-Asian News Service

Samajwadi Party general secretary has announced that he would quit his Rajya Sabha seat and said that others, including Congress president Sonia Gandhi, should follow suit.

The decision came after President APJ Abdul Kalam approved Jaya Bachchan's disqualification for holding an office of profit.

The President gave his concurrence to the Election Commission's recommendation to disqualify the actress-politician Thursday evening, informed sources said.

The panel had contended that Bachchan held an office of profit as chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Corporation.

The Election Commission sent a notice to Singh after a petition sought his disqualification on the ground that he too held an office of profit as chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Development Council.

"I have expressed my desire to quit as MP. But (Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Samajwadi Party leader) Mulayam Singh said the matter should be referred to the parliamentary board of the party," Singh said in a press conference.

He indicated the party could re-nominate Bachchan as the seat she was holding fell vacant after the Presidential order. The Samajwadi Party would make it a political issue against the ruling Congress party.

"It's not the issue of Amar Singh or Jaya Bachchan. There are many other MPs who hold offices of profit," Singh told reporters. "What about Sonia Gandhi? She is also the chairperson of the National Advisory Council," he said.

Singh also referred to senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha MP Karan Singh, who heads the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.

The Uttar Pradesh assembly had on March 9 attempted to circumvent the recommendation for disqualifying Bachchan by removing 79 posts, including her own, from the list of offices of profit. However, Governor TV Rajeshwar did not give his assent to the move.

Bachchan has claimed that she does not receive a salary and thus could not be said to be holding an office of profit.

"The matter may be remitted back to the Election Commission to give a proper hearing and for passing fresh orders after considering all materials," she said in a letter to the President urging a review of her case.

Bachchan has also petitioned the Supreme Court to define the term 'office of profit'.

First Published: Mar 17, 2006 13:20 IST