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AAP overrun by ‘anti-party elements’: Suspended MLA Pankaj Pushkar

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New Delhi: Hours after AAP’s Timarpur MLA Pankaj Pushkar was suspended from the Delhi Assembly for two days on Friday, the legislator said the Speaker’s ruling suggested a dictatorial tendency and smacked of “arrogance”.

Alleging that AAP has been overrun by “anti-party elements”, Pushkar, who has been at odds with the party leadership over the expulsion of Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, described his suspension as “undemocratic”.

Pushkar was suspended as he kept on demanding a discussion on EWS category in schools despite the Speaker’s objection. Delhi Home Minister Satyender Jain moved a proposal in this regard which was voted upon.

The suspension bars Pushkar from partaking in the Assembly’s proceedings on Friday and on November 30 when it will meet next after the weekend. The session has been extended till December 4.

“The issue was to be raised under the ‘calling attention’ provision and would not require more than two minutes, ” Pushkar said.

“I wanted to raise the issue of EWS category admissions in schools and creches on DDA land in the capital under the calling attention provision. The government could just state whether it was being complied with or not…the Speaker’s step tends towards being dictatorial,” he added.

“But under the same provision, three issues were raised in the House on November 24, when I had first spoken about it,” he said, adding, “You may silence my voice but one day you will have to answer to the people.”

Pushkar denied that he was trying to embarrass AAP by his actions.

“The matter I wanted to raise is of public interest. It would rather raise the stature of the party,” he said., adding, “Only an arrogant regime can do that (suspension). But one day you will have to answer some authority and above all the people,” he said.

Pushkar has openly sided with Swaraj Abhiyan, an outfit floated by Yadav and Bhushan and has been participating in its events across the country.

(With inputs from agencies)

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Blow for Kejriwal: EC recommends disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs

A big blow to the Aam Aadmi Party after the Election Commission recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs

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Arvind Kejriwal's party seems to be in trouble after the EC recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs. Wikimedia commons
Arvind Kejriwal's party seems to be in trouble after the EC recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs. Wikimedia Commons
  • The EC recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs under the ‘office of profit’ pretext
  • AAP looks forward to approaching the Delhi High court
  • The controversy started after Prashant Patel had submitted an application to the President

The Election Commission has recommended the disqualification 20 AAP MLAs. The EC found them guilty of holding an ‘office of profit’. The recommendation has been sent to the President. If cleared, the disqualification would mean that AAP’s strength in Delhi Assembly will reduce from 67 to 47.

The 20 AAP legislators were accused of being unconstitutionally appointed as parliamentary secretaries to assist various ministers of the Delhi government. The EC’s opinion on this matter means that the AAP legislators are set to be disqualified, which could soon force a mini Assembly election in the national capital.

The party now looks forward to approach the Delhi High Court, pleading that the recommendation be struck down. Wikimedia Commons
The party now looks forward to approaching the Delhi High Court, pleading that the recommendation is struck down. Wikimedia Commons

“This is unprecedented. The MLAs in question didn’t get a chance to present their case before the EC. In fact, we didn’t hear the news from the EC, but news channels,” AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said.

ALSO READ: Anna Hazare comes out in open support about Chanda Bandh Satyagraha against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)

Opposition parties have demanded the immediate resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister of Delhi on moral ground.

The ‘office of profit’ controversy had started after a lawyer, Prashant Patel, had filed an application in 2015 to the President’s office. It questioned the appointment of AAP MLAs as parliamentary secretaries.

The Congress had filed a petition in Election Commission in 2016 as a follow-up, based on this application. The opposition party sought disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs.

Kejriwal had appointed MLAs in March 2015 and his government passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, in June 2015. Wikimedia Commons

AAP had argued that this post did not qualify as an office of profit as there is no monetary benefit attached to it. But then President Pranab Mukherjee refused to give assent, following which the appointments were set aside by the Delhi High Court in September 2016, declaring them illegal since the order had been passed “without concurrence/approval of the Lt Governor”.

ALSO READ: Discontentment in the Aam Aadmi Party is resulting in Resignation and withdrawals from the party

In the first reaction to the EC recommendation, AAP spokesperson Nagendar Sharma tweeted:

Here’s the list of 20 MLAs who have been recommended to be disqualified: 

1. Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli)
2. Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar)
3. Praveen Kumar (Jangpura)
4. Nitin Tyagi (Laxmi Nagar)
5. Adarsh Shastri (Dwarka)
6. Sanjeev Jha (Burari)
7. Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar)
8. Sukhvir Singh (Mundka)
9. Madan Lal (Kasturba Nagar)
10. Sarita Singh (Rohtas Nagar)
11. Alka Lamba (Chandni Chowk)
12. Rajesh Rishi (Janakpuri)
13. Anil Kumar Bajpai (Gandhi Nagar)
14. Manoj Kumar (Kondli)
15. Kailash Gahlot (Najafgarh)
16. Avtar Singh (Kalkaji)
17. Vijendar Garg Vijay (Rajinder Nagar)
18. Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur)
19. Sharad Kumar (Narela)
20. Shiv Charan Goel (Moti Nagar)