The Delhi High Court on Friday refused to grant interim relief to the Aam Aadmi Party, which approached it soon after the Election Commission recommended disqualifying 20 of the party’s MLAs in the Delhi Assembly for holding offices of profit while being legislators. The court will hear the matter again on Monday.
While the poll panel has refused to comment on its recommendations, AAP leaders reacted angrily soon after the reports emerged on Friday. Party leaders said the Election Commission had never “touched this low”.
Party leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said Chief Election Commissioner Achal Kumar Jyoti had made the recommendations without asking the party for an explanation, The Indian Express reported. “No evidence, no argument of AAP was neither asked nor taken into consideration before the recommendations were sent to the president,” Bharadwaj said.
Another AAP leader, Ashutosh, took to Twitter to vent his anger. “The Election Commission should not be the letter box of the PMO,” he tweeted. “But that is the reality today.”
Both the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress said they welcomed the Election Commission’s recommendation.
Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken said Kejriwal had “no right to continue”. “Half of his Cabinet ministers removed on corruption charges! 20 MLAs who were enjoying ministerial perks would be disqualified!” Maken said on Twitter.
“Not following the Constitution and its spirit is the characteristic of AAP (sic),” BJP’s Delhi chief Manoj Tiwari said according to The Indian Express. The recommendation has shown a mirror to [the] AAP.”
Tiwari said the BJP was prepared for elections at “any moment”, and added that Kejriwal should “take responsibility for the moral defeat and resign”, PTI reported.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, on the other hand, extended her in support to her Delhi counterpart Arvind Kejriwal. Banerjee said on Twitter it was “most unfortunate” the 20 suspended MLAs were “not even given a hearing by the honourable EC”.