Sat, 28 Sep 2013 01:52:05 GMT

AAP members meet president, oppose ordinance

New Delhi, Sep 27 (IANS) Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) members Friday met President Pranab Mukherjee and urged him not to sign an ordinance that shields convicted lawmakers.

The ordinance, which has been approved by the union cabinet, reverses the Supreme Court judgment mandating the immediate disqualification of lawmakers convicted for a criminal offence punishable with a jail term of more than two years.

"We told the president that the ordinance is against the wish of the people and urged him not to sign it," AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal told reporters after the meeting.

The visit came hours before Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi rejected the ordinance.

"The supreme court said tainted candidates should not be allowed. If still the government goes ahead with this ordinance, it will shake people's faith in parliament," said AAP member Prashant Bhushan.

He also "challenged" political parties opposing the ordinance to declare they will not give tickets to tainted candidates.

"The political parties say something, and do something else. I challenge all parties who are opposing the ordinance, declare that you will not give tickets to convicts and tainted candidates," Kejriwal said.

Asked about the president's response, Kejriwal said he listened to them but did not give any assurance.

"President's role here is limited, he can only return the ordinance for reconsideration, we hope he does that," he said.

The AAP members also welcomed Supreme Court's decision on negative voting.

"We welcome the decision, it is major step towards electoral reforms, but this is just the first step," Kejriwal said.

"The Supreme Court has asked Election Commission to include a 'none of the above' button in electronic voting machines. However, even if the majority chose none of the candidates, the election will not be cancelled," Kejriwal said.

"A law should be made so that in case majority of voters practice their right to reject, the election is cancelled and fresh polls are conducted," he said.

Bhushan commented that if the government was so keen on bringing ordinances they should bring an ordinance and make a law on right to reject.

©Indo-Asian News Service

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