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Office of Profit: Congress accuses AAP and BJP of flouting Constitutional Laws

By Shreya Sinha
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    On March 23 Congress' Sushmita Dev spoke on the Delhi High Court ruling of reinstating membership of the 20 disqualified AAP MLAs for Office of Profit. She said, "It is not the Aam Aadmi Party MLAs who have won, today only the rules of the natural justice have been upheld and I must point out here that in blatant violation of the laws, the Aam Aadmi Party continues their MLAs in the Legislative Assembly and today I am joined by my friends of Manipur and Goa for specific reason to highlight the fact that exactly what the Aam Aadmi Party is guilty or think they are guilty of in Delhi, is exactly what the BJP is doing in the State. As you all are aware that in the Bimolangshu Roy vs State of Assam Case, the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India had clearly laid down that an office of Parliamentary Secretary is hit by office of profit and any such law which allows for that is unconstitutional obnoxious."

    Office of Profit: Congress accuses AAP and BJP of flouting Constitutional Laws

    "You all will be not surprised to note that today in the State of Manipur, we have around 12 MLAs, eight from the BJP, three from NPF and one Independent MLA who have been appointed as Parliamentary Secretary after the last Assembly elections were held in Manipur. Today, former Dy. CM Ginathan Ji has initiated on behalf of the Party a petition in the Hon'ble High Court of Manipur," she added.

    She said that the Congress respect today's judgment of the High Court of Delhi which has directed the Election Commission of India to hear the complaint against 20 AAP MLA's for holding Office of Profit, but we would like to raise some important questions. 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 Bharatiya Janata Party is flouting every rule in Manipur. Just like the AAP, BJP is also guilty of the same illegality in Manipur.

    She even accused the BJP of 'double faced' politics. She said, "In the state of Manipur, the BJP Govt is guilty of the same illegality. 12 MLA's - 8 from BJP, 3 from NPF and 1 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 vs 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. However all the 12 MLAs are continuing in complete violation of the law."

    She added that the BJP's entire Government in Manipur is functioning in complete violation of the constitutional laws, to say the least and that 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 the Supreme Court's landmark decision in Kihoto Holohan v. Zachillu.

    The Congress demands that the 12 MLAs of BJP in Manipur should resign immediately, as also the 20 MLA's AAP in Delhi.

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