Millennium Post

Victory of truth, says Kejriwal; BJP hails verdict

NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court's verdict restoring membership of the 20 disqualified AAP MLAs has given these lawmakers a major shot in the arm. The MLAs would also take part in the ongoing budget session of the government.
Meanwhile, the political analysts observed that the High Court verdict gave the MLAs a permanent solution in their position as the hearing in the Election Commission would take a lot of time. They have also seen the verdict as a victory of the AAP on the claims of vendetta against them.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal termed the judgment as the victory of truth, the opposition looked at the decision as the independence of the judiciary.
"It is a victory of truth. The people whom Delhi had voted as their representatives were wrongly disqualified," said Kejriwal. The Chandni Chowk MLA, Alka Lamba, said that due to her disqualification, she could not become a part of the budgetary process of the government and works were affected.
Transport Minister Kailash Gahlot, who had also been disqualified, said: "We had complete faith in the judiciary from day one. If EC would give the proper hearing to us, we would not need to move to court."
Meanwhile, the Delhi BJP put up a brave face, saying it respects the high court's order setting aside the disqualification of the 20 AAP MLAs in the office-of-profit case, and asserted it was a "unique proof" of the independence of the judiciary. The Election Commission should definitely give a proper re-hearing to the MLAs, but it should be noted that the court has not absolved the MLAs of the charge of having benefited from holding the office of profit, Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said.
"We welcomed the directions of the high court and the Election Commission in the past. Similarly, we respect Friday's decision. It is a unique proof of the independence of judiciary and freedom in the Indian democracy," he said.
However, the Delhi Pradesh Congress Chief Ajay Maken who took up the issue to the Election Commission said that the fight would continue. Reacting on the high court order, Congress' Delhi unit president Ajay Maken tweeted, "We will fight it out in the Election Commission again as these 20 MLAs have enjoyed perks. HC has not disputed or denied this. The HC has just asked ECI to look at it again in the light of natural justice!"
The high court termed the Election Commission's recommendation on disqualification as "vitiated", and noted that there was the violation of natural justice and no oral hearing was given to the MLAs before disqualifying them as legislators of the Delhi Assembly.

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