The Hush Post: Even as 6 MLAs knocked the doors of the Delhi High Court immediately to get some reprieve from the Election Commission’s imminent disqualification of 20 MLAs, the Delhi High Court has said that it cannot stay the disqualification order issued by the Election Commission. Going by television reports, the court has said that it has already ruled that the office held by AAP MLAs was illegal. The Delhi High Court asked the AAP MLAs whether or not the Election Commission issued them a notice. AAP MLAs responded in affirmative, but they argued that the EC summon did not mention the date of hearing.
Meanwhile, calling it a moral defeat, the BJP is making a water-tight arrangement to not let this opportunity slip out of its hands, without reaping its calculated benefit. Turning the tables on AAP, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said that the Election Commission allowed “undue” adjournments of hearings of AAP MLAs, which “dearly cost” the people and said the party unit “stands prepared for elections any moment”.
Raising fingers at the disqualification, AAP spokesperson Raghav Chadha, while speaking to television channels, said, “ Parliamentary secretaries have been appointed in BJP ruled states –Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra— and enjoy all perks and benefits of ‘office of profit’, while the AAP led Delhi government did not even take a single penny from the government coffers”.
AAP has raised fingers at the BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that the Chief Election Commissioner wanted to repay Modi ‘s debt. A K Joti was Narendra Modi’s principal secretary when he was Gujarat Chief Minister and then the Chief Secretary of Gujarat. An IAS officer of 1975 batch of Gujarat cadre, Joti took charge as the Election Commissioner in 2015 and is due to retire in two days from now, that is coming Monday.
Mamta Banerjee was one of the first political leaders to back AAP, which was quite clear through her tweet, “A Constitutional body cannot be used for political vendetta. The 20 AAP MLAs were not even given a hearing by the Hon EC. Most unfortunate. This goes against the principles of natural justice. At this hour we are strongly with@arvindkejriwal and his team.”
The AAP is facing a big conundrum at the moment. In case of by-elections for these 20 seats, it would be taken as a referendum on Kejriwal government.
Even in best of circumstances, AAP can’t hope to repeat its performance going by the results of the Delhi municipal elections, Rajouri Garden by-election, as well as Assembly elections in Goa and Punjab which clearly indicate waning of Kejriwal’s popularity. Denial of Rajya Sabha ticket to Kumar Vishwas, Kapil Mishra’s exit , accusations against Kejriwal of selling Rajya Sabha seats and giving it to outsiders and ED cases against the party are other issues which have wrecked the party’s prospects of a comeback.