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Let’s start with a clean slate? Pehle AAP!

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Delhi Elections 2015 and AAP
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by Harshmeet Singh

Aam Aadmi Party’s landslide win is an indication of sorts that the people of Delhi have risen above the politics of caste, community, religion among several other things. The write-up aims to observe the expectations and transition of the soon-coming-to-power government.

Subhash is having trouble holding back his smile. A resident of Delhi’s Patel Nagar area, he grins every time the TV screen flashes the trends in the ongoing vote count of the Delhi assembly elections. He was never prouder of his vote. Amazingly, he is not alone. Millions of Delhities who preferred keeping a ‘safe distance’ from politics are cheering for the Aam Aadmi Party. For the two year old party, pulling the common man into politics and charging up his emotions is a much bigger achievement than the landslide victory in Delhi that it is headed towards.

Where do we head from here? Delhi would finally have a Chief Minister. A Chief Minister who, by the admissions of his own party leaders, would come with a fevicol to remain stuck on his seat for the next five years. A number of experts have remarked that the Arvind Kejriwal has mellowed down considerably as compared to his last tenure as the CM during which he launched a dharna against the Central Government and slept on the streets on a couple of chilly January nights. Having said that, it won’t do justice to AAP if people start expecting overnight results such as clean air in Delhi or a Police department that has Singham to solve the cases or even a Yamuna clean enough to see your reflection. Perhaps that is why the constitution lays down a tenure of five years for the Government, and not a couple of months.

If there is a lesson in AAP’s victory, it is ‘How to change your liability into your strength’. With the opponents taking potshots at Kejriwal for ‘running away’ in a matter of 49 days, the AAP was happy to bring a flashback of its 49-day tenure and remind people of what the party was capable of delivering. Amidst the permanent face off with different authorities including the Delhi Police and the Central Government, the party was also able to remain in the headlines for reasons such as deflated electricity bills, stress on setting up night shelters and the launch of an anti corruption helpline.

If the AAP’s previous stint in the capital is anything to go by, it won’t take long for the touts to desert the Government offices and this time, for a much longer duration. For a political party which takes pride in its ideals of swaraj, the AAP has set up for itself an ominous target of organizing mohalla sabhas to connect with the people at the grassroots. If there is one aspect which remained untouched during AAP’s last tenure, it was women security. Pointers mentioned in their election manifesto, such as appointing woman marshals in the public buses, if implemented on the grounds, have the potential of transforming Delhi into a world class city. Those who would witness the oath taking ceremony on 14th February at the Ramleela Maidan would have a feeling of déjà vu. This time, hopefully, the dream would not end soon!

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Copyright 2015 NewsGram

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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)