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Can Asaduddin Owaisi be disqualified from LS over 'Jai Palestine' slogan? What Constitution says explained

Asaduddin Owaisi, leader of AIMIM, sparked controversy during his oath-taking ceremony in the Lok Sabha when he concluded with the slogan 'Jai Palestine'.

Can Asaduddin Owaisi be disqualified from LS over 'Jai Palestine' slogan? What Constitution says explained snt
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First Published Jun 25, 2024, 9:07 PM IST

Asaduddin Owaisi, leader of AIMIM, sparked controversy during his oath-taking ceremony in the Lok Sabha when he concluded with the slogan 'Jai Palestine'. This action drew strong criticism from BJP leaders, with some suggesting that Owaisi could face disqualification from Parliament for showing allegiance to a foreign state.

Following the uproar in the House, where the Chair ordered his remarks to be expunged, Owaisi defended his actions to reporters, stating that there was nothing inappropriate about his slogans, including 'Jai Bheem, Jai Meem, Jai Telangana, Jai Palestine'.

In response, BJP's Amit Malviya indicated on social media platform X that Owaisi's expression of support for Palestine could potentially lead to his disqualification under current rules governing parliamentary conduct.

In a post on X, he said: “As per extant rules, Asaduddin Owaisi can be disqualified from his Lok Sabha membership, for demonstrating adherence to a foreign State, that is Palestine. Please note: @LokSabhaSectt.”

Malviya shared a brief video clip of Asaduddin Owaisi's oath-taking in the Lok Sabha and referenced Article 102 of the Constitution, which outlines conditions for disqualification from parliamentary membership. Malviya pointed out a specific provision stating that a member can be disqualified if they demonstrate allegiance or adherence to a foreign state. He tagged the Lok Sabha Secretariat in his post, emphasizing the relevant clause regarding citizenship and allegiance to foreign states.

Can Asaduddin Owaisi be disqualified from LS over 'Jai Palestine' slogan? What Constitution says explained snt

Here's what Article 102 of the Constitution says on disqualification:

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;

(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.

Despite the backlash, Owaisi defended his slogans to reporters, asserting that there was no issue with him proclaiming "Jai Bheem, Jai Meem, Jai Telangana, Jai Palestine."

Asked about his remarks, Owaisi told reporters, "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".

Asked why he mentioned Palestine, he said, "They are oppressed people."

Owaisi, the leader of All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) and now elected for his fifth term from Hyderabad, took his oath in Urdu. Prior to this, he recited a prayer. Following his oath, he praised Telangana, Bhimrao Ambedkar, and voiced the AIMIM's slogan for Muslims, along with expressing support for a West Asian country.

His remarks caused a commotion in the Lower House. Radha Mohan Singh, presiding at the time, reassured members that only the oath itself would be officially recorded.

After a brief disruption, the oath-taking ceremony resumed. Pro-tem Speaker Bhartruhari Mahtab returned to oversee proceedings and reiterated that only the oath or affirmation was being documented.

"I have said earlier please avoid invoking anything other than oath or affirmation. That is only to be recorded... That should be adhered to," Mahtab said.

Union Minister G Kishan Reddy, meanwhile, took a jibe at Owaisi, questioning if he could say "Bharat Mata Ki Jai".

Reddy said Owaisi's remarks are "totally wrong and against the rules of Parliament". "Living in India, he cannot say 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai', but he can hail Palestine. Such people are doing anti-Constitutional work in the name of Constitution, that should be understood,"

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