President Ram Nath Kovind approves disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs: List of legislators axed for holding office of profit
In a major setback to Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the Election Commission was on Friday said to have recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on 19 January, 2018. It has been republished in view of President Ram Nath Kovind approving the disqualification of the 20 AAP MLAs.
In a major setback to Delhi's ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), President Ram Nath Kovind approved the disqualification of 20 party MLAs on grounds of holding an office of profit as parliamentary secretaries.
The approvals came two days after the Election Commission recommended disqualification of 20 of AAP MLAs.
The Election Commission had recommended the disqualification of the 20 AAP MLAs to the president on a complaint by the Congress filed in June 2016 seeking disqualification of the MLAs.
The Congress application said 21 AAP MLAs, including Jarnail Singh (Rajouri Garden) who resigned to contest Punjab Assembly polls last year, had been appointed parliamentary secretaries to Ministers in the Delhi government.
Here's a brief profile all the 20 AAP MLAs:
Praveen Kumar: Kumar, according to The Indian Express, is a social worker and worked as an officer on special duty to Manish Sisodia. He won from the Jangpura constituency. He was appointed parliamentary secretary to the minister of education by Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
Sharad Kumar Chauhan: Sharad Kumar is the parliamentary secretary to the minister of revenue. He switched from Bahujan Samaj party to AAP to contest the Delhi elections and became an MLA from the Narela constituency. He had contested the 2008 Assembly election and had narrowly lost from Narela with a margin of 800 votes.
Adarsh Shastri: Grandson of former prime minister Lal Bahadur Shastri, Adarsh joined the AAP in 2013 after leaving his job as the sales head in Apple Inc, according to India Today. He was appointed the parliamentary secretary to the minister of information and technology. He is an MLA from Dwarka. He has spent over 17 years in the corporate sector and has been involved in various social and economic organisations and charitable trusts, according to NDTV.
Madan Lal: Madan Lal was appointed as parliamentary secretary to the minister of vigilance. He is an MLA from Kasturba Nagar and is the founding president of Saket Court Bar Association. According to DNA, he has done his MA LLB from MMH College, Ghaziabad, Meerut University. He had once alleged that the BJP offered him a bribe to split AAP.
Shiv Charan Goel: Shiv Charan Goel is the parliamentary secretary to the minister of finance. He is an MLA from Moti Nagar. According to The Indian Express report, he was an active participant in the Jan Lokpal andolan and provided support to orgnisations working for social welfare. His name recently cropped up in the news when Kapil Mishra alleged that AAP had received "crores of rupees" from "shell companies" run by people close to Kejriwal, including Shiv Charan Goel.
Sanjeev Jha: He is an MLA from Burari and was appointed the parliamentary secretary to the minister of transport. He was detained last year by the Delhi Police for trying to "break public peace" after he tried to hold a counter hunger strike outside Kapil Mishra's house.
Sarita Singh: Sarita Singh is an AAP MLA from Rohtas Nagar and was appointed as a parliamentary secretary to the minister of employment. She made news recently for allegedly misbehaving with a police officer on duty. The MLA has also been accused of taking money in the name of providing government job. The legislator has denied both charges.
Naresh Yadav: Naresh Yadav was appointed the parliamentary secretary to the minister of labour. Yadav, an advocate, is an MLA from Mehrauli. His name also appeared with Shiv Charan Goel in allegations of running shell companies for Kejriwal. He was also arrested and later granted bail in a case regarding the alleged desecration of a Quran.
Rajesh Gupta: Rajesh Gupta is an MLA from Wazirpur and was appointed the parliamentary secretary to the minister of health. He was given the ticket from Wazirpur after the AAP dropped Suresh Bhardwaj as its candidate for hiding some facts, reported The Indian Express. He is a businessman by profession.
Rajesh Rishi: He was appointed as a parliamentary secretary to the minister of health and is an MLA from Janakpuri. He is a sweet vendor by profession. Rishi recently advised Kejriwal of staying away from “sycophants”. Being a party volunteer, he has expressed his displeasure over with the way some leaders around the chief minister have “monopolised” the party’s functioning, reported Hindustan Times.
Anil Kumar Bajpai: He was appointed the parliamentary secretary to the minister of health and is an MLA from Gandhi Nagar. He was previously with Congress and joined AAP in 2013. He is the vice-president of the Confederation of the Residents’ Welfare Association (RWA) of the NCR and president of the Gandhi Nagar RWA, according to The Indian Express.
Som Dutt: He is the parliamentary secretary to the minister of industries and is an MLA from Sadar Bazar. He was granted bail in October last year in a case filed against him for allegedly filing false information about the dependency of his parents in affidavits in 2013 and 2015 Delhi Assembly polls.
Avtar Singh Kalka: Avtar Singh Kalka, an MLA from Kalkaji, was appointed as parliamentary secretary to minister of Gurudwara elections. The Panthak Seva Dal elected him as its convener in 2016, replacing founder convenor Sarabjot Singh Grover, reported The Indian Express.
Vijender Garg Vijay: He was appointed the parliamentary secretary to the minister of PWD and is an MLA from Rajender Nagar. He is a BCom graduate of Delhi University.
Jarnail Singh: He was appointed the parliamentary secretary to the minister of development and is an MLA from Tilaknagar.
Kailash Gahlot: Gahlot was appointed as a parliamentary secretary to the minister of law and is an MLA from Najafgarh. In the Delhi government Cabinet reshuffle, Gahlot was handed over responsibilities of transport and law, according to The Financial Express.
Alka Lamba: An MLA from Chandni Chowk, she was appointed as parliamentary secretary to the minister of tourism. She was removed as the party spokesperson after she “deviated from party line” while making a statement on Gopal Rai being relieved of charge as transport minister.
Manoj Kumar: He was appointed as parliamentary secretary to the minister of food and civil supplies and is an MLA from Kondli. He has been accused of domestic abuse and faces charges of cheating and land grabbing for which he was arrested in July 2015. He was later released on bail, according to The Indian Express.
Nitin Tyagi: He was appointed the parliamentary secretary to the minister of women and child and social welfare. An MLA from Laxmi Nagar, he was involved in a face off with another legislator. Tyagi moved a breach of privilege motion against AAP dissident Pankaj Pushkar, who had filed a police complaint against the former alleging threat to life, reported The Asian Age.
Sukhvir Singh: An MLA from Mundka, he was appointed as parliamentary secretary to the minister of languages and welfare of SC/ST/OBC. He is a retired government servant.
With inputs from agencies
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