Describing the Election Commission's recommendation to disqualify 20 AAP MLAs as "most unfortunate", West Bengal Chief MinisterMamata Banerjee on Friday said a Constitution body can not be used for political vendetta. A Rashtrapati Bhawan official confirmed the President had received the recommendation and was yet to send his reply. "History is witness to the fact that truth has always prevailed", he tweeted. It's natural. But the entire visible and invisible powers of the universe come to your aid. Because you work for the country and the society., not for yourself.
However, the AAP will not face any problem in running the Delhi government immediately, as the party has 67 out of 70 Assembly seats.
Delhi chief minister Kejriwal and his party colleagues too have refrained from officially commenting on the issue, maintaining that they would first study the EC's recommendation and the order of the President.
Arvind Kejriwal has a tough challenge ahead of himself. Fifteen of their MLAs have cases against them and 12 were arrested under different charges.
The issue was immediately taken up by the Opposition with Ajay Maken tweeting that Kejriwal has no right to continue. "He should resign", he said. The Delhi CM Mr Kejriwal and his party, in the explanation had said that the appointments of the MLAs do not violate rules because none of the MLAs seek salaries for the position.
He also said the Congress would file a caveat if the AAP moved the high court against the disqualification. Chief Election Commissioner AK Joti is due to retire on 22 January. He wrote, " EC hasn't even heard the OoP matter on merits and now makes ill-founded recommendations without giving AAP MLAs an opportunity of being heard. Later, the proceedings were released against on MLA Jarnail Singh following he resigned as the Rajouri Garden MLA to fight the Punjab Assembly polls in February 2017. "Why don't they ask the general public in their respective constituencies whether these MLAs own any bungalows, have any government vehicles", he asked.
However, the AAP said that it did not accept the "office of profit" argument as none of the MLAs took any perks (vehicle, office, accommodation or fee, etc.) in their capacity as Parliamentary Secretaries, and that the legal options were still open for the MLAs facing disqualification.