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Age Debate: Of morality, or just politics?

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Jan 25, 2018, 2:48 am IST
Updated : Jan 25, 2018, 2:49 am IST

The AAP is wrong to accuse the EC of acting at the BJP’s behest to disqualify its MLAs.

Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal (Photo: File/PTI)
 Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal (Photo: File/PTI)

On moral grounds, CM should quit
Shivam Chhabra

The BJP hails the decision taken by President Ram Nath Kovind to disqualify 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs for acquiring “offices of profit”. It is a victory of  Indian democracy.

The AAP was given a historic mandate by the people of Delhi. It claimed it had came to power with a very “different” kind of agenda. Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and all AAP legislators “pledged” not to avail the perks of office but their “lust for power” made them go back on their promises. The CM acquired bungalows, cars and all the perks of being a chief minister, but the greed did not end here. Mr Kejriwal appointed 21 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries. These parliamentary secretaries were attached to various ministers in order to ensure that they continue enjoy the fruits of power.

It is unfortunate that the CM and his team of MLAs enjoy doing everything in an “unconstitutional” manner. The CM loves to disobey constitutional guidelines that are mandatory for good governance. He seems to be in some kind of misconception. He thinks of himself as being a revolutionary and takes pride in flouting norms.

When 20 MLAs of the AAP were declared disqualified by the President on the recommendation of the Election Commission of India, AAP leaders started leveling allegations — they stooped low by terming the President as a “BJP agent”! For the AAP, the Election Commission is also acting at the behest of the BJP! It is sad to see that Mr Kejriwal and other AAP leaders leave no stone unturned to malign the image of constitutional bodies. I wonder why the AAP did not come to the Election Commission when the party had claimed a two-thirds majority in the Delhi Assembly to form the government.

It is further interesting to note that the AAP doesn’t just have problems with the President and the Election Commission, but also with the Lok Sabha Speaker and Delhi’s lieutenant governor (both the previous one and the present one), besides others. The Election Commission has just done its job fairly and ensured that nothing illegal happens. It unmasks the AAP as its two-faced nature is now out into the open. All these 20 AAP MLAs got perks and privileges against the rules laid down in the Constitution, and misused their power for personal gain.

Mr Kejriwal should now resign on moral grounds. People have now understood that the anti-corruption crusade is no longer the mantra of the AAP; its only mantra is to gain maximum benefits for personal needs, whims and fancies by distorting and flouting norms. The party has betrayed the people of Delhi and has pushed the people to the brink, leading to lawlessness in Delhi, with zero governance. We are hopeful that as and when the byelections are held, the BJP will get a thumping victory and the people will choose good governance.

The writer is the BJP’s national media in-charge and spokesperson of its youth wing

Haste shows something is really fishy
Alka Lamba

It has already been proven that the disqualification of the 20 legislators of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) was done at the behest of the BJP. The lightning speed at which the matter was taken up and the Election Commission recommended the issue to President Ram Nath Kovind is ample proof of this.

On January 19, the Election Commission had taken the decision to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs, which we got to know through the media. The next day we sought time from the President, so that before he takes any decision we could get an opportunity to present our side. Being a democratic nation, we should have had an opportunity to be heard, only after which any decision should have been taken in the matter.

Saturday (January 20) was Mr A.K. Joti’s last day as Chief Election Commissioner, and he referred the “offices of profit” case to the President on this very day. The next day, on Sunday, the President accepted the poll panel’s recommendation to disqualify 20 MLAs for holding “offices of profit”.

The utter haste in which the decision was taken proves that the poll panel was not acting independently, but was toeing the line of the BJP. It is highly unfortunate that the President took the decision in such haste, without giving us a chance to speak. It’s an act of the Centre using the constitutional institutions for its own gains.

This makes us question what was the pressure exerted by the Centre on the constitutional body (the poll panel) that the decision was taken in such extreme haste? We all know the prevailing situation in the country.

It is utterly shocking that while the decision on parliamentary secretaries in Delhi was taken up so swiftly, the same issue has been kept on low priority in other states, especially states ruled by the saffron party.

In Chhattisgarh, the state government has appointed 11 parliamentary secretaries, and if these 11 legislators are disqualified the government would lose its majority in the Assembly. In the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly, the BJP has 49 MLAs, followed by the Congress (39), Independent (1) and BSP (1).

This is not the first time that as a political party, we have pointed fingers at the functioning of the poll panel. Before us, four eminent judges of the Supreme Court had pointed out how constitutional bodies are being used to score political gains. The people of the country are well aware of this.

It is extremely sad that the BJP-ruled Centre got the CBI raid conducted on us, got the AAP MLAs convicted in false cases and now they have not even fallen short of using the poll body to disqualify us. But it is very clear that they are still unhappy because even after the disqualification of 20 legislators, they have been unable to destabilise the AAP government in Delhi that had secured a mammoth majority with 67 seats in 2015.

(As told to Pragya Singh)

The writer is the former Chandni Chowk MLA

Tags: arvind kejriwal, aap mlas disqualified, ram nath kovind