Twenty seats of Delhi Legislative Assembly are now vacant, with 20 MLAs being accused of holding Posts of Profits, which are not allowed for legislators. Aam Aadmi Party has moved Delhi High Court to challenge the disqualification of its MLAs. The MLAs are banking on favorable judgment to save their positions.
The MLAs claim that they did not get any profit from their posts as parliamentary secretaries; the existence of said Office of Profits is being questioned. However, speculators such as Prashant Bhushan, an eminent advocate, is of the view that the Court is not going to reverse the order of the President, because the MLAs were at fault.
The court has not provided any relief so far but has passed order to the Election Commission, ordering it to leave seats vacant till the court passes its order. Sooner or later, by-election of vacant 20 seats of Assemblies has to take place. Court cases may be able to buy time, but by-elections simply cannot be avoided.
What the by-election holds…
In the Delhi Municipal Corporation elections, the Bharatiya Janata Party had scored a massive victory. But after the MCD elections, by-election of Bawana assembly segment took place due to resignation by an Aam Aadmi Party MLA who left AAP to join Bharatiya Janata Party; he was the BJP candidate from there in by- election. In the by-election, the AAP candidate defeated him by a huge margin. The BJP candidate took third place, behind Congress, just before the counting of the final round of votes. He closed at second, after having pushing Congress candidate behind with a close margin.
Apart from Bawana, elections of Delhi University Students Union and Teachers Association were also held. BJP lost in both. In DUTA (Delhi University Teachers Association) election, BJP teacher’s wing lost all central panel posts. In DUSU (Delhi University Students Union) election, the students’ wing of BJP lost the prestigious President post.
The mood of Delhites remains turned against BJP. Perhaps the current sealing drive, along with questionable performance at center, has fueled such sentiments. BJP is not able to put the onus of sealing on any other party, as the sealing is being done by the Municipal Corporation of Delhi, which is run by the BJP. If elections are held in this environment, BJP will find it difficult to get the votes of its traditional vote base of traders. It might be that AAP does not win all 20 seats, but it is expected to fare far better than BJP. It is strange that AAP is trying to get relief from Court, when in fact, election might be in its best interest.
-Contributed by Kriti
Picture Credits: adrindia.in