The Election Commission's (EC) decision to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit, was its chief, A. K. Jyoti's parting gift to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, senior AAP leader Gopal Rai said here on Saturday.
Addressing media, Rai also said that the party will launch a campaign against BJP's decisions to allow FDI in retail and the sealing drive in the city.
On Friday, the EC recommended to President Ram Nath Kovind to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs for holding offices of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries, triggering calls for resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. The President is bound to act in accordance with the poll panel's recommendation. Here are top 10 developments1. CEC AK Jyoti is an agent of BJP: AAP Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Sanjay Singh on Saturday alleged the Chief Election Commissioner AK Jyoti 'working for his boss PM Modi', and he asserted that in many instances members holding the office of profit were never disqualified. Sanjay Singh, said "There have been many instances where members holding an office of profit were never disqualified. It has happened during Congress rule in Delhi, it has happened in Bengal and Jharkhand as well. This proves that the EC is working at the behest of BJP." "CEC AK Jyoti is working for his boss PM Modi. He has a bungalow in Gujarat. Just 3 days before his retirement, he has shown his true face as an agent of BJP. I demand Narendra Modi's resignation, he said. 2. Kejriwal to address meeting at his residence Aam Admi Party Chief Arvind Kejriwal will address a party meeting at his residence at 4:30 pm today. Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said that "hurdles naturally come when one walks the path of truth". "Hurdles do come when one walks the path of truth and honesty. This is natural. But all the visible and invisible powers of the universe help you. God supports you, because you don't work for yourself but for the nation and the society," Kejriwal posted on Twitter. "History is witness that it is truth that wins in the end," the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Convenor added.
3. What is happening is dangerous for the country: Gopal Rai "What is happening is dangerous for the country... for a democracy. The country will have to pay. PM Modi is breaking down all institutions," AAP leader Gopal Rai said. 4.'Delhi Congress begins planning for possiblebypolls' Spurred by the news of Election Commission's recommendation for disqualification of 20 ruling AAP MLAs in the office of profit case, the Delhi Congress on Friday got down to planning for possible by-polls in the affected constituencies, party sources said. A meeting attended by Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken and AICC in-charge of the state unit PC Chacko, the party functionaries discussed the emerging scenario and possible elections in the 20 Assembly segments. "The discussions centred around the disqualification of 20 MLAs and by-polls in the affected constituencies. It was decided to hold conventions in all the 20 constituencies in coming days," said a senior party leader who attended the meeting. The Delhi Congress will also hold a demonstration against the Kejriwal government on the issue of "corruption" on Tuesday, he said.
जब आप सच्चाई और ईमानदारी पर चलते हैं तो बहुत बाधाएँ आती हैं। ऐसा होना स्वाभाविक है। पर ब्रह्मांड की सारी दृश्य और अदृश्य शक्तियाँ आपकी मदद करती हैं। ईश्वर आपका साथ देता है। क्योंकि आप अपने लिए नहीं,देश और समाज के लिए काम करते हैं। इतिहास गवाह है कि जीत अंत में सचाई की होती है।— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 19, 2018
5. EC's touched a new low, says angry AAP Hitting out at the Election Commission, the Aam Aadmi Party alleged on Friday that "the vindictive recommendation was made at the behest of the BJP-led central government", adding chief election commissioner A K Joti was "repaying the debt" to Prime Minister Narendra Modi before his retirement. AAP Delhi chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj said: "A K Joti was the principal secretary under (the then Gujarat chief minister) Narendra Modi and then the chief secretary of Gujarat. He is retiring on Monday. So you want to repay Modiji's debt. You are mortgaging a constitutional post like the EC." AAP, whose government in the city will not face any threat even after its 20 MLAs are disqualified, claimed, "EC has touched the lowest point in its history" as it did not give the party MLAs any chance to present their case.
Kejriwal has no right to continue. Half of his cabinet ministers removed on corruption charges! 20 MLAs who were enjoying ministerial perks would be disqualified! Where is Lokpal? The MLAs and Ministers enjoying perks of power and foreign travel-Where is political probity?— Ajay Maken (@ajaymaken) January 19, 2018
6. Twitter was abuzz with reactions
देश के अलग-अलग राज्यों में भी सरकारों ने संसदीय सचिव नियुक्ति किये, दिल्ली समेत कई राज्यों में न्यायालय ने उनकी नियुक्ति पर रोक लगा दी, लेकिन चुनाव आयोग ने फैसला सिर्फ दिल्ली के विधायकों को लेकर ही क्यों दिया ?#PoliticalVendettaAgainstAAP pic.twitter.com/qccnoxP4s4— AAP (@AamAadmiParty) January 20, 2018
We parted ways the day Arvind Kejriwal formed Aam Aadmi Party. We are not in contact anymore. I had told him not to form a party.
Nation can't be served by forming a party, had that been the case, the scenario would have been different in 70 years of independence: Anna Hazare pic.twitter.com/LGz8oi6MkU— ANI (@ANI) January 19, 2018
EC's decision to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs for Office of Profit is on expected lines as per routine course of law but also a delayed one. These appointments were not just a technical violation of constitutional norms, but also a serious case of political immorality by Mr. Kejriwal.— Anupam (@AnupamConnects) January 19, 2018
Why Kejriwal allowed to appoint those very doctors who were challenging the Government’s decision on Max Hospital in the committee for fixation of medical fees & form guidelines for private hospitals. #KejriwalMustGo— Jyoti Katharia (@jyotikatharia) January 20, 2018
Good news: EC recommends disqualification of 20 AAP MLA's to President. Solid proof of office of profit found against them. Massive setback to Kejriwal but will he resign on moral ground.— Totlani Krishan (@kktotlani) January 19, 2018
7. BJP welcomes move BJP leader and leader of Opposition in the Delhi assembly Vijender Gupta tweeted: “Better late than never, EC Election disqualifies 20 AAP MLAs for holding ‘office of profit’. The AAP govt has much to answer to the public for their political impropriety as Delhi is headed for mid-term #elections. Will request Hon’ble President for speedy approval.” In a second tweet, he demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal: “Disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs is a huge moral defeat for CM @ArvindKejriwal. It has put his leadership in peril. He must resign on ethical grounds.”
Kind attention everyone, Tomorrow Twitter may crash! Because Kejriwal's tweet about 'Modi Conspiracy' on disqualification of AAP MLA's will go too much heavy for Twitter to bear!— Ankit Singh (@ankitbcet) January 19, 2018
Priti Gandhi, the National executive member of the BJP, tweeted: “Election Commission disqualifies 20 AAP MLAs for holding ‘office of profit’, sends recommendation to President. Egg on the face of pseudo-Krantikari’s!”
Those who started their political journey against corruption are themselves corrupt. The journey of AAP has been from 'India against corruption' to 'I AM CORRUPTION: Dr. @sambitswaraj on EC's decision to disqualify 20 MLAs of Aam Aadmi Party. https://t.co/WRxD7d7L2L— BJP (@BJP4India) January 19, 2018
8. Mamata Banerjee backs Kejriwal West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee supported Kejriwal. She tweeted: “A Constitutional body cannot be used for political vendetta. The 20 AAP MLAs were not even given a hearing by the Hon’ble Election Commission. Most unfortunate. This goes against the principles of natural justice. At this hour we are strongly with @arvindkejriwal and his team.”
Meanwhile AAP leaders are now huddled at Arvind Kejriwal's residence to device the party's next move following the election commission's decision to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs. Lage raho!!!!— Priti Gandhi (@MrsGandhi) January 19, 2018
9. AAP approaches Delhi High Court The AAP meanwhile approached the Delhi High Court in a bid to stave off the impending action against its MLAs but the court refused any relief saying there was no Commission order and it cannot act on media reports. The matter will come up again on Monday. 10. What next? The move will pave the way for by-polls in Delhi for 20 constituencies of the 70-member assembly. The AAP at present has officially 66 members in the House although some have turned dissidents. The other four seats are held by the BJP. Even if 20 MLAs are disqualified, the ruling party will still have a comfortable majority in the Delhi Assembly. But by-elections, if called, will put to test Kejriwal's grip on Delhi. 10. List of 20 AAP legislators who face office of profit Kailash Gahlot: Najafgarh legislator Kailash Gahlot was appointed as parliamentary secretary to ministry of law. Naresh Yadav: Mehrauli legislator Naresh Yadav was appointed as parliamentary secretary to labour ministry. Som Dutt: Sadar Bazar legislator Som Dutt was appointed as parliamentary secretary to industries ministry. Praveen Kumar: Jangpura legislator Praveen Kumar was appointed as parliamentary secretary to education ministry. Nitin Tyagi: Laxmi Nagar legislator Nitin Tyagi was appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to Ministry of Women and Child and Social Welfare. Adarsh Shastri: Dwarka legislator Adarsh Shastri was appointed as parliamentary secretary to information and technology ministry. Sanjeev Jha: Burari legislator Sanjeev Jha was appointed as parliamentary secretary to transport ministry. Jarnail Singh: Tilak Nagar legislator Jarnail Singh was appointed as parliamentary secretary to the Development Ministry. Sukhvir Singh: Mundka legislator Sukhvir Singh was appointed as parliamentary secretary to the ministry of languages and welfare of SC/ST/OBC. Madan Lal: Kasturba Nagar legislator Madan Lal was appointed as parliamentary secretary to vigilance ministry. Sarita Singh: Rohtas Nagar legislator Sarita Singh was appointed as parliamentary secretary to employment ministry. Alka Lamba: Chandni Chowk legislator Alka Lamba was appointed as parliamentary secretary to ministry of tourism. Rajesh Rishi: Janakpuri legislator Rajesh Rishi was appointed as parliamentary secretary to health ministry. Anil Kumar Bajpai: Gandhi Nagar legislator Anil Kumar Bajpai was appointed as parliamentary secretary to health ministry. Manoj Kumar: Kondli legislator Manoj Kumar was appointed as parliamentary secretary to ministry of food and civil supplies. Avtar Singh: Kalkaji legislator Avtar Singh was appointed as parliamentary secretary to ministry of gurdwara elections. Vijendar Garg Vijay: Rajinder Nagar legislator Vijendar Garg Vijay was appointed as parliamentary secretary to ministry of PWD. Rajesh Gupta: Wazirpur legislator was appointed as parliamentary secretary to health ministry. Sharad Kumar: Narela legislator was appointed as parliamentary secretary to revenue ministry. Shiv Charan Goel: Moti Nagar legislator Shiv Charan Goel was appointed was appointed as parliamentary secretary to finance ministry. The panel last year in October issued a notice to the AAP MLAs seeking an explanation after rejecting their pleas to drop the 'office of profit' case against them. In March 2015, the AAP government passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, to exempt the posts of Parliamentary Secretary from the definition of office of profit with retrospective effect. But then President 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".
A Constitutional body cannot be used for political vendetta. The 20 AAP MLAs were not even given a hearing by the Hon EC. Most unfortunate. This goes against the principles of natural justice. At this hour we are strongly with @arvindkejriwal and his team— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) January 19, 2018