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Will Sonia Gandhi be disqualified?
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | March 22, 2006 23:10 IST
The Telugu Desam Party on Wednesday claimed that President A P J Abdul Kalam has referred to the Election Commission its petition demanding the disqualification of Congress president Sonia Gandhi for holding an office of profit while being a member of Parliament.
TDP leader Yerran Naidu also accused the Congress and the central government of resorting to double standards on the issue.
Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan was disqualified on the grounds that she held an office of profit.
Article 102 (1)(a) of the Constitution bars an MP from 'holding any office of profit under the Government of India or in any state other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder'.
Rashtrapati Bhavan sources refused to either confirm or deny that the President has referred the petition to the Election Commission for its views.
"It is normal procedure that whenever petitions come to the President, they are referred to the authorities concerned. We are not saying that the petition in question has been received and sent to the Election Commission. But, if it has been, then, there is nothing unusual about it," a senior government official, who knows about the functioning of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, said.
The Congress, supported by the Communist Party of India-Marxist, is in favour of bringing an ordinance clarifying that the categories of postings done by the government will not come under holding an office of profit.
Sonia, who in her capacity as the chairperson of the UPA holds the rank of a cabinet minister, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee and more then forty others MPs may face disqualification if the law is not amended.
Both Houses of Parliament were adjourned sine die as the Samajwadi Party leaders waved copies of the Indian Express, which carried a report that the government was planning to come out with ordinance soon to save its leaders.