AAP MLAs should quit on Moral Ground, Demands Congress

New Delhi: After the Delhi High Court restored the assembly membership of 20 AAP MLAs who were disqualified for holding offices of profit, the Congress on Friday demanded that ruling party MLAs and 12 MLAs in Manipur should resign on a moral ground for violating constitutional laws.

It also alleged that one Congress MLA in Manipur, T.H. Shyamkumar, defected just after the announcement of the result and was appointed a minister in the state cabinet by the BJP.

“He has not even resigned and is still continuing as a minister in the most blatant act of illegality and sheer political opportunism,” it said.

The party also cited the example of former Congress President Sonia Gandhi, who had resigned when the office of profit controversy broke out and had fought again to win the election.

“We respect the judgment of High Court which has directed the Election Commission to hear the complaint against 20 AAP MLAs for holding an office of profit, but we would like to raise some important questions,” said Congress leader Sushmita Dev.

“Both the BJP and the AAP are now in the same boat. No doubt the rules of natural justice have been upheld, but just like the AAP has made an absolute mockery of the laws, the BJP is flouting every rule in Manipur. Just like the AAP, the BJP is also guilty of the same illegality in Manipur,” she added.

Dev said: “The double-faced politics of the BJP is blatant. Twelve MLAs — eight from BJP, three from NPF and one Independent MLA — were appointed as parliamentary secretaries after the last assembly election.

“After, the Supreme Court order of July 26, 2017, in the case of Bimolangshu Roy v. State of Assam, it is the law of the land that such laws appointing people as parliamentary secretaries is without legislative competence and therefore any person having held such position must be disqualified,” she said.

The party said the BJP’s government in Manipur is functioning in complete violation of the constitutional laws.

“The BJP is aware their government is doubly disqualified — first, for having illegally allotted offices of profit to 12 MLAs and second for not having disqualified the defecting MLA who has done so in gross violation of the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution and Supreme Court’s decision in Kihoto Holohan v. Zachillu.

“We demand that the 12 MLAs in Manipur should resign immediately, as also the 20 AAP MLAs in Delhi.