AAP seeks disqualification of 116 BJP lawmakers in Madhya Pradesh

BHOPAL: The Madhya Pradesh unit of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Monday demanded that the Election Commission disqualify 116 BJP MLAs in the state for holding offices of profit, an allegation that has been dismissed by the ruling party.

The AAP submitted a memorandum to the EC in Bhopal with its demand, a day after its 20 MLAs in New Delhi were disqualified by President Ram Nath Kovind on the recommendation of the EC for holding offices of profit.

Following a protest at the EC office in Bhopal, the party said the action against the BJP’s 116 MLAs should be taken under articles 191 (1) and 192 of the Constitution and The Representation of People Act, 1951.

State AAP convener Alok Agrawal said, “The EC exhibited alacrity in taking action against (AAP) MLAs in New Delhi. I hope the EC would show the same kind of promptness in taking action in case of Madhya Pradesh. The state government will be reduced to minority if action is taken against these MLAs.”

The current strength of the BJP in the 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly is 165 while that of the Congress is 55.

Alok Agrawal added that his party had submitted a complaint about this with proof to the EC on July 4, 2016.

“Despite our complaint one-and-a-half years ago, no action has been taken against 116 MLAs of the state for violating offices of profit norms and provisions of the Representation of the People Act. This is a serious violation of the law,” he said.

The BJP dismissed the allegations and said the AAP was doing this out of “frustration”.

“AAP is frustrated due to the EC’s action in Delhi. None of the MLAs here in Madhya Pradesh violate the existing office of profit norms. The AAP is trying to make an issue out of nothing. Such allegations should not be taken seriously,” state BJP spokesman Deepak Vijayvargiya said.