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BJP’s Victory Sweep: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) bites dust in their own Constituencies

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New Delhi, April 26, 2017: The BJP’s victory sweep in the civic polls saw most Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) ministers fail to ensure victory for the AAP candidates in their own constituencies.

Riding on the ‘Modi wave’, the BJP won 181 of the 270 wards that went to the polls to storm to power in the three municipal corporations for third term in a row. The AAP with just 48 wards came a distant second with the Congress ending up third, bagging just 30 seats.

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The BJP won 64 of 103 wards in North Delhi Municipal Corporation, 70 of 104 in South Delhi Municipal Corporation and 47 of 63 in East Delhi Municipal Corporation.

Barring Food & Supplies Minister Imran Hussain, four of the AAP ministers, including Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, conceded ground in their own constituencies to the BJP.

Of the four wards in Sisodia’s constituency Patparganj, the AAP could win only one with the rest all going to the BJP.

State Labour Minister Gopal Rai suffered a similar fate with BJP winning three of the four wards in his constituency Babarpur.

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Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra, who has five wards in his constituency Karawal Nagar, saw only two of AAP candidates winning with the BJP bagging the rest three.

The worst sufferer was Health Minister Satyendar Jain in whose constituency Shakur Basti, all the three AAP candidates bit the dust.

Minister Hussain turned out to be the saving grace for the AAP with two of three wards in his constituency Ballimaran going to his party with the third won by Congress.

Hussain could save his constituency as it consists largely of Muslims.

AAP MLA from Chandi Chowk Alka Lamba too suffered the ignominy of seeing her party candidates losing all the three wards in her constituency.

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Owning up moral responsibility for the defeat, she offered to quit from all party posts. While the others ministers have not said anything on the defeat, Sisodia alleged that Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) were rigged in favour of the BJP.

“Without rigging, such a massive win is not possible,” Sisodia said, reiterating the accusations the party has been raising since AAP’s defeat in the Punjab and Goa assembly polls.

Putting up a brave face and accepting defeat, Kejriwal congratulated the BJP for its victory.

Kejriwal who has been up in arms against the Election Commission as well as the BJP over EVM tampering, however, remained silent on the issue.

While the AAP has continued to blame EVM tampering for its electoral debacle, social activist Anna Hazare blamed his former protege Kejriwal’s “quest for power” for the crushing defeat.

“People gave him a mandate and he got an opportunity to turn Delhi into a model state for the entire country to replicate. But power is bad. Once you sit in the chair, you lose your power of thinking,” said Hazare.

“Instead of working for Delhi, he started thinking about capturing power in Punjab and Goa.

There was no need for him to hurry. But he was in a hurry and people realised that it is power in his mind and not society or the country,” said Hazare and also dismissed allegations of EVM tampering. (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)