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God Gave AAP 67 Seats in Delhi Knowing This Day Would Come: Arvind Kejriwal on Disqualification of MLAs

The disqualification will not endanger the Arvind Kejriwal government but its numbers will come down significantly in the 70-seat Delhi Assembly.

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Updated:January 22, 2018, 7:48 AM IST
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God Gave AAP 67 Seats in Delhi Knowing This Day Would Come: Arvind Kejriwal on Disqualification of MLAs
File image of Delhi Chief Minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal. (Image: PTI)
New Delhi: Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday said AAP got 67 seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly three years ago because god knew that 20 of his party's MLAs will be disqualified after three years.

"I have always said that it was God's grace. He also knew that after three years these people would declare 20 of our MLAs disqualified. That's why he gave us 67 seats out of 70 in the Delhi Assembly polls," he said in a statement on the AAP's Twitter handle.

His remarks came after President Ram Nath Kovind approved Election Commission's recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs on the charges of holding 'office of profit'.

The disqualification will not endanger the Arvind Kejriwal government but its numbers will come down significantly in the 70-seat Delhi Assembly. They would still enjoy a comfortable majority, with 46 out of 50 seats in the pruned House.

Attacking the BJP for the decision, Kejriwal said that the disqualification was its last resort after all the other tricks failed. He claimed that the Centre first let lose the CBI on the Delhi government, but failed to find anything despite all its efforts.

“Then, the Delhi Lieutenant Governor seized all our files for four months, but did not find anything out of order,” he said. When they failed, they disqualified our MLAs, he told a public gathering in Najafgarh area in west Delhi.

"They (BJP-led Centre) have tremendously victimised us by imposing fake cases on our MLAs. They conducted CBI raids on me and didn't get anything and today they declared 20 of our MLAs disqualified," he said.

The Delhi CM said the party will now approach the High Court against this "extremely unconstitutional, unethical and biased decision of the EC". "If required we will go to the Supreme Court. The Constitution is supreme and is the law of the land and has been protected by our Judiciary time and again."

AAP’s chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj also slammed the BJP for the decision. “A first reading of the Narendra Modi government-appointed Election Commission’s biased opinion and subsequent notification issued by the BJP’s central government to hastily disqualify 20 elected Delhi MLAs shows constitutional authorities today are behaving like hand maidens of the central government,” he said.

Following Kovind's approval, the Union Law and Justice Ministry issued a notification saying that the President has held that the 20 members of Delhi Legislative Assembly stand disqualified under 15 (1) (a) of the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (GNCTD) act.

The Election Commission had on Friday recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs for holding office of profit as Parliamentary Secretaries, giving its opinion to the President on a complaint by advocate Prashant Patel, a member of the Hindu Legal Cell, in June 2015, who petitioned then President Pranab Mukherjee alleging the appointments were illegal and in violation of the Constitution.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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