NEW DELHI, Jan 21 - In a major setback to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), President Ram Nath Kovind has disqualified 20 of its MLAs in Delhi for holding offices of profit, a move the party described as �unconstitutional� and �dangerous for democracy�.
Kovind gave his assent yesterday to the recommendation by the Election Commission (EC). Reacting to the development, senior AAP leader Ashutosh said, �President�s order to disqualify AAP MLAs is unconstitutional and dangerous for democracy.�
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.
AAP MLAs were appointed parliamentary secretaries and this was described by petitioner Prashant Patel as them holding offices of profit.
Giving its opinion to the President on the issue, the poll panel had said that the MLAs, by occupying the post of parliamentary secretaries had held offices of profit, and were liable to be disqualified as legislators.
Parliamentary secretaries assist ministers with their work. The AAP insisted that despite holding the office these MLAs did not take any salaries or perks.
The President is bound by the recommendations of the Election Commission. Under the rules, petitions to the President seeking disqualification of lawmakers are referred to the EC. The poll panel takes a decision and sends its recommendation to the Rashtrapati Bhavan which is accepted. � PTI