Holding that the ordinance on convicted MPs and MLAs has created discontentment among people, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leaders on Friday met President Pranab Mukherjee and requested him to send it back to the government for reconsideration.
AAP leaders including national convener Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh, Shanti Bhushan and Prashant Bhushan met Mr. Mukherjee and submitted a memorandum on the issue.
Addressing the media after the meeting, Mr. Kejriwal said, “We have informed the President that the Supreme Court has struck down a section of Representation of People’s Act terming it unconstitutional, then how the government can bring the same section through an Ordinance.
“If the section is unconstitutional then the Ordinance itself has become unconstitutional,” he said, adding there is discontentment among the people over government’s attempt to save tainted MPs and MLAs and the President should not give his assent.
AAP, in their memorandum, pointed out that ordinances were supposed to be emergency measures only.
“There is clearly no emergency to bring this law. In fact, this bill was introduced in Rajya Sabha in the last session of the Parliament, and then referred to the Standing Committee, showing that there was no emergency, unless imminent conviction of Lalu Yadav and other such persons and the need to save them from disqualification constitutes such emergency,” the memorandum said.
“This is creating enormous discontent among the people, who believe that mainstream political parties supporting such law want to promote criminals in politics. We, therefore request you to exercise your powers to send back this unwarranted and unconstitutional ordinance back to government for reconsideration,” the party said.
AAP leader and senior lawyer Prashant Bhushan said AAP also apprised the President about the apex court’s decision to include “None of the above” option in the ballot paper or electronic voting machine.
Asked what would be there next course of action if the President gives his assent to the Ordinance, Kejriwal said, “We will challenge it in the Supreme Court.”
Keywords: Ordinance on lawmakers, Supreme Court order, Rahul Gandhi, Congress, Kapil Sibal, Sushilkumar Shinde, jailed lawmakers, Union Cabinet, Representation of People (Amendment) Bill 2013, Parliament (Prevention of Disqualification) Amendment Bill 2013, Representation of the People ordinance