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BJP MLAs thrash independent MLA in J&K assembly over beef party

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Srinagar: Two ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs thrashed independent MLA Engineer Rashid in the state assembly on Thursday for hosting a beef party here the previous day.

Even before the speaker, Kavinder Gupta, could take his seat, BJP MLAs Gagan Bhagat and Rajeev Sharma pounced on Engineer Rashid and started thrashing him.

Opposition MLAs from the National Conference (NC) had to intervene to save Engineer Rashid.

Opposition leader and former chief minister Omar Abdullah said what was witnessed in the house today was unprecedented.

“I am still unable to fully understand what happened in the assembly today (Thursday).”

“The speaker is the custodian of the house, but we want to know what the chief minister has to say on this most unfortunate incident,” Omar Abdullah said.

Omar said whatever Engineer Rashid had done did not provide BJP the right to carry out a murderous attack on him.

“We respect and understand the sentiments of other communities, but that does not mean we can resort to violence to settle scores.”

“Alcohol is prohibited in my religion. Consumption of pork is prohibited in my religion, but that does not mean I should attack everyone who consumes alcohol or pork,” he said.

Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed said the incident to attack the MLA was condemnable.

“This house has high values of parliamentary conduct. Whatever has happened here is condemnable and I condemn it.”

“I request deputy chief minister Nirmal Singh (BJP) to stand up and apologise for the misconduct of the BJP MLAs,” Sayeed said.

Nirmal Singh said that whatever happened in the house was unfortunate and he disapproved of it, but added that what Engineer Rashid had done the previous day was “both condemnable and unfortunate”.

Since the deputy chief minister stopped short of issuing a clear apology in his statement, opposition NC, Congress, CPI M, member Yusuf Tarigami and other independents including Engineer Rashid and Hakeem Yaseen walked out of the house after which question hour started in the assembly.

(IANS)

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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)