New Delhi, Jan 22: In a dramatic turnaround, the 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs, who were disqualified following the recommendation by the Election Commission for holding offices of profit, on Monday withdrew their petition in the Delhi High Court seeking a stay on the poll panel’s decision. Also Read - Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia Tests Positive For Covid-19, Goes Into Self-Isolation
AAP MLAs’ counsel said that their plea has become infructuous as President has accepted the Election Commission’s recommendation and a notification disqualifying them has been issued, PTI reported. The disqualified MLAs are now planning to file a fresh appeal in the court after examining President Ram Nath Kovind’s order. Also Read - AAP's Raghav Chadha Tears Up Slum Demolition Notice, Says Will Move Supreme Court Against Centre
The Election Commission had on Friday recommended to President Kovind that the 20 MLAs were liable for disqualification for holding offices of profit between March 13, 2015, and September 8, 2016. A government notification on Sunday (January 21) said the President has disqualified 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit. President Kovind on Sunday (January 21) approved the EC’s recommendation. (Also Read: Undue Process? Why AAP MLAs Being Disqualified is a Win-win Situation for Arvind Kejriwal) Also Read - 'Shaheen Bagh Protest Was Pre-planned,' Alleges AAP After 3 Anti-CAA Activists Join BJP
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has given ample hints that he is ready for re-election on 20 seats. “They slapped fake cases on our legislators, got the CBI to conduct raids on me, but they found nothing. In the end, they disqualified 20 of our MLAs. There was some logic when God gave us 67 seats. The Almighty stood behind us in our every step. Otherwise we would have been nothing… Just don’t stray away from the path of truth,” Kejriwal said at en event in Delhi soon after President’s approval. (Also Read: Arvind Kejriwal Loves Playing a Victim, Will it Work For Him Again?)
The 20 MLAs disqualified include, Adarsh Shastri (Dwarka), Alka Lamba (Chandni Chowk), Anil Bajpai (Gandhi Nagar), Avtar Singh (Kalkaji), Kailash Gahlot (Najafgarh) — who is also a minister — Madan Lal (Kasturba Nagar), Manoj Kumar (Kondli), Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli), Nitin Tyagi (Laxmi Nagar), Praveen Kumar (Jangpura), Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur), Rajesh Rishi (Janakpuri), Sanjeev Jha (Burari), Sarita Singh (Rohtas Nagar), Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar), Sharad Kumar (Narela), Shiv Charan Goel (Moti Nagar), Sukhbir Singh (Mundka), Vijendar Garg (Rajinder Nagar) and Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar).
Sisodia’s Open Letter to Delhiites
In an open letter to the people of Delhi, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia on Monday sought support against the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs. In the letter tweeted by Sisodia, he blamed the BJP-led Centre for hampering the work of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party in the city.
He said the Centre was scared of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s rising “popularity across the country”.
Noting that President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the Election Commission’s recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs, he said this was “yet again” the Centre that was creating hindrance in the growth of Delhi.
Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party chief Manoj Tiwari then attacked Kejriwal over this open letter and dared the Aam Aadmi Party to contest on all the 70 seats.
“People’s answer: Don’t write letters and instead of contesting for the 20 seats, contest on all 70 seats,” Tiwari said in a tweet, attaching the open letter by Sisodia.