MP govt appointed Swaraj's husband, daughter as advocates

MP govt appointed Swaraj's husband, daughter as advocates

In what could cause fresh trouble for External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, an RTI query has revealed that Madhya Pradesh government appointed her husband and daughter as government advocates.

However, the state BJP has denied any wrongdoing and said the appointments were done on the basis of merits even as Congress hit out at Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for allegedly "obliging the BJP Central leadership".

Sushma has been embroiled in a row for facilitating travel documents for tainted former IPL boss Lalit Modi in London, prompting opposition Congress to demand her resignation.

The response to an RTI query, filed recently by activist Ajay Dubey, revealed that the state government had appointed Sushma's husband Swaraj Kaushal and daughter Bansuri Kaushal as government lawyers in 2009 and 2013, respectively.

Dubey alleged that the Chief Minister "favoured" Swaraj with appointments as he wants to consolidate his position in the BJP.

He said the Vidisha MP's daughter was appointed as junior advocate with the issuance of order by state law department on February 27, 2013.

Similarly, her husband was appointed as senior advocate on October 10, 2009, Dubey said citing documents related to the appointments, procured by him through RTI query.

"These appointments clearly bring to light that politicians are being obliged in MP," alleged Dubey, a member of NGO Board of Management, Transparency International India.

Reacting to the findings, MP Congress unit's chief spokesman K K Mishra said Chouhan was not missing an opportunity to oblige Central ministers.

"By make Bansuri and Kaushal state government advocates, he (Chouhan) has politically obliged Sushma. Chouhan was obliging the BJP Central leadership to save his chair in the wake of his involvement in MP Professional Examination Board (MPPEB) scam," Mishra alleged.

He further alleged that the government has paid lakhs of rupees to Bansuri and Kaushal from government coffers as legal fees and demanded cancellation of their appointment.
Meanwhile, the state BJP unit said the government has not indulged in any wrongdoing, illegal act or impropriety in appointing Kaushal and Bansuri as government lawyers.

MP's BJP media in-charge Hitesh Bajpai said the appointments were done on the basis of merits.

"Kaushal was a senior lawyer. Many states hire Kapil Sibal, Manish Tewari, K T S Tulsi of Congress to present them in Supreme Court," he contended.

He said Congress was indulging in falsehood to malign the image of the NDA government

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