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Historic Decision: President Approves Disqualification of 20 MLAs

In a historic decision, President Ram Nath Kovind assented to the disqualification of 20 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs as recommended by the Election Commission of India (ECI) in the most-talked about Office of Profit case. President approved the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs on Sunday (Jan 21, 2018). With this, the mega by-election in New Delhi is expected to take place shortly.

Earlier, the Election Commission has recommended the disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs. It all began two and a half years before when a young lawyer filed a petition for the disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs who had been made parliamentary secretaries in Delhi in March 2015. Although AAP MLAs had requested the EC to drop the 'Office of Profit' case against them, the EC rejected their pleas in June 2017.

After many turns, EC recommended for the disqualification of MLAs. While one among the 21, Jarnail Singh of Rajouri Garden, had resigned last year to fight polls in Punjab, the EC has recommended to the President to disqualify the 20 MLAs. President has approved the EC's recommendation.

Though the disqualification of 20 MLAs of AAP is not going to plunge the incumbent Arvind Kejriwal government into a crisis - since it has an overwhelming majority in the 70-member Delhi Assembly, this disqualification of 20 MLAs create heated political atmosphere ahead of by-polls. Needless to say that this is a huge setback for Arvind Kejriwal and his team.

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