OoP issue: BJP to target more Cong legislators
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said there are more legislators against whom it will file petitions.Updated: Jun 14, 2006 20:26 IST
A day after 19 Congress legislators from Delhi received final notices from the Election Commission on the office of profit issue, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Wednesday said there are more legislators against whom it "will file petitions".
"The Election Commission's decision not to give more time to the 19 MLAs is a welcome move. We know that that at least eight more Congress MLAs holding offices of profit and we are going to file a petition against them soon," said Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan.
"The government tried to bail these people out by passing a bill in the assembly but it is still lying with the home and law ministries. After President APJ Abdul Kalam returned the bill, the home ministry does not have the guts to send the Delhi bill to him," Vardhan said.
"They are holding some college committees," he indicated, without divulging the name of the targeted legislators.
Acting on a petition filed by BJP legislator Vijay Jolly, the Election Commission last month issued a show cause notice to them.
The commission asked the 19 legislators, who had sought more time for filing their replies on the notices, to give final replies by June 21 or face action. The legislators said they received the notices on Tuesday.
On May 18, the Sheila Dikshit government had passed the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Amendment Bill, 2006 on the office of profit issue and awaited a presidential nod.
The disqualification of these legislators will reduce the Delhi government to a minority. Currently, the Congress holds 47 of the 70 seats while the BJP has 20 members.
However, Congress legislators named in the petition said they are not disturbed over the development.
"We still have a week's time to reply to the Election Commission and we will fulfil the formalities well before that. We have full faith on the commission and will abide by its decision," said Rajesh Lilothia, one of those named in the petition.
"The commission cannot disqualify us so easily. It has to review our replies and follow constitutional procedures before spelling out a decision."
Braham Pal, another legislator named in the petition, said the Congress was "considering legal advisory" to deal with any eventuality.
"I will reply to the commission soon and hope that our state government takes necessary steps to handle the situation," Pal said.
First Published: Jun 14, 2006 20:26 IST