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Disqualify MLAs holding office of profit in 11 States: AAP

By The Assam Tribune

NEW DELHI, July 3 - The AAP has demanded the Election Commission disqualify over 100 legislators holding the post of Parliamentary Secretary in 11 States and was asked by the poll panel to approach the President and the Governors of the States concerned with its plea.

A delegation of AAP leaders, led by the party�s Punjab Convenor Sanjay Singh, met Election Commissioner AK Joti on Thursday and submitted a list of such 130 MLAs who are apparently enjoying a number of perks in several States, including Nagaland, Punjab and Gujarat.

�We gave a list of Chief Parliamentary Secretaries and Parliamentary Secretaries across several States to the Commission and have demanded that they be disqualified since they are being given the facility of cars, bungalows, fat salaries, police escort and status as Ministers,� Singh told reporters after the meeting.

AAP said Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghayala, Nagaland, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, and Punjab have MLAs holding such offices.

Singh claimed these posts �clearly� come under the purview of office of profit which merits their disqualification as MLAs. Party units in those States have made similar complaints to the respective Chief Electoral Officers there. �The EC suggested that we approach the Governors of the States concerned and the President,� he said.

Meanwhile, the Commission has sent a letter to the Delhi Chief Secretary, seeking details of the facilities being provided to the 21 AAP MLAs appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries as part of its proceedings into the constitutionality of the posts.

The Election Commission will commence personal hearing for all the MLAs as requested by them on July 14.

In March last, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal had appointed the MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries to assist Ministers of the Delhi Government.

AAP government then sought to get this legal sanction with retrospective effect by amending the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997.

Early this month, the President denied assent to the Bill which sought to protect them from disqualification. � PTI

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