21 MLAs from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are at the risk of getting disqualified from Delhi Assembly over the issue of dual office of profit. The Election Commission of India (ECI) has sought a reply from the MLAs, appointed as parliamentary secretaries by the Arvind Kejriwal government on March 14, 2015, and have till the May 10.
A BJP activist had filed a complaint with the President of India Pranab Mukherjee, asking for the disqualification of the 21 parliamentary secretaries, who also hold assembly seats, on the grounds that they were holding offices of profit. The President then forwarded the complaint to the ECI for its view. Once the ECI gets a response from the AAP MLAs, it will make a suitable recommendation to the President of India, who will then take the final call on the matter.
Some of the names included in the list
Praveen Kumar, Sharad Kumar, Adarsh Shastri, Madan Lal, Charan Goel, Sarita Singh, Naresh Yadav, Jarnail Singh and Rajesh Gupta.
In order to protect the MLAs, the Kejriwal government passed a bill in the assembly exempting the parliamentary secretaries from the ambit of the dual office of profit. However, the bill has not been approved by the Centre.
Arvind Kejriwal’s government has 67 MLAs in the 70 member assembly.
The Prevention of Disqualification Act of 1959, Clause (a) of Article 102 of Indian Constitution says a person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either house of Parliament, if he holds any “office of profit” under the Government of India or the Government of any State other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder.
In 2006, Indian National Congress President and MP, Sonia Gandhi, resigned her parliamentary seat after opposition claims that because she was also heading the NAC she was holding dual offices of profit.
Jaya Bachchan was disqualified from the Rajya Sabha, while she was also chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Film Development Federation.
The Logical Indian awaits the judgement of the president on the issue and urges that the AAP government should accept the decision that will be taken by the ECI and President. Everyone should follow the code of the constitution.