AIMIM President Asaduddin Owaisi has sparked a political row by his ‘Jai Palestine’ slogan towards the end of his oath-taking as Hyderabad Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday. Many Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have said that the slogan, now expunged from the Lok Sabha records, can lead to Owaisi’s disqualification from Parliament for“ demonstrating adherence to a foreign State”.

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Apart from hailing his state, Telangana and BR Ambedkar, Owaisi, who was elected from the Hyderabad seat for his fifth term, raised ‘Jai Palestine’ (Hail Palestine) slogan after taking oath in Urdu, sparking a controversy.

Will check rules: Rijiju

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju said he has received complaints from some members about the mention of Palestine, adding that he will check the rules. “We do not have any enmity with Palestine or any other country. The only issue is, while taking the oath, is it proper for any member to raise the slogan praising another country? We will have to check the rules,” he said.

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BJP IT cell head Amit Malviya posted on X a snippet of Article 102 of the Constitution along with video clip of Owaisi’s slogan. “As per extant rules, Asaduddin Owaisi can be disqualified from his Lok Sabha membership, for demonstrating adherence to a foreign State, that is Palestine,” Malviya said.

Article 102 lays down the grounds for the disqualification as a member of Parliament.

Speaking with reporters outside the Parliament, Owaisi defended his act. “Other members are also saying different things… How is it wrong? Tell me the provision of the Constitution? You should also listen to what others said. I said what I had to. Read what Mahatma Gandhi had said about Palestine,” he said.

When asked why he mentioned Palestine, Owaisi said, “They are oppressed people.”

Here’s what Article 102 of Constitution says on disqualification:

1- A person shall be disqualified for being chosen as, and for being, a member of either House of Parliament.

(a) If he holds any office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State, other than an office declared by Parliament by law not to disqualify its holder.

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(b) If he is of unsound mind and stands so declared by a competent court;

(c) If he is an undischarged insolvent.

(d) If he is not a citizen of India, or has voluntarily acquired the citizenship of a foreign State, or is under any acknowledgement of allegiance or adherence to a foreign State.

(e) If he is so disqualified by or under any law made by Parliament.

Explanation: For the purposes of this clause a person shall not be deemed to hold an office of profit under the Government of India or the Government of any State by reason only that he is a Minister either for the Union or for such State.

2- A person shall be disqualified for being a member of either House of Parliament if he is so disqualified under the Tenth Schedule.

The Tenth Schedule – popularly known as the Anti-Defection Act – punishes individual Members of Parliament (MPs) for leaving one party for another. It sets the provisions for disqualification of elected members on the grounds of defection to another political party.

INDIA supports two-state solution

INDIA has been in favour of two-state solution to end the Palestinian dispute with Israel and has in fact increased the financial support for Palestinian refugee welfare agency in recent times. 

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Published: 26 Jun 2024, 09:32 AM IST