Office of profit: Kejri blames PM

Office of profit: Kejri blames PM

Office of profit: Kejri blames PM
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi was afraid of the AAP and blamed him for the President’s decision to deny assent to a bill that protects 21 MLAs appointed as parliamentary secretaries.

“Modi is scared of the AAP and not afraid of the Congress,” said Kejriwal, adding that parliamentary secretaries in Delhi alone were being targeted while those in other states were permitted to function.

Selective targeting of parliamentary secretaries in Delhi shows political motives, the Aam Aadmi Party leader said.

“Modi’s strategy is to not work himself and not let others work,” he said. “If we are extracting additional work from the 21 legislators without paying an additional penny, what is wrong in it,” Kejriwal said.

“If people are disqualified and made to sit at home, what will they (Centre) gain,” the chief minister said. “There are 24 parliamentary secretaries in Punjab and they get a salary of Rs 1 lakh, car and bungalow. Our parliamentary secretaries get nothing,” he said. The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party were quick to demand Kejriwal’s resignation over the controversial appointment of parliamentary secretaries.

“Kejriwal should cast away the pretence of honesty and integrity as he has no right to remain in power,” said Delhi Congress chief Ajay Maken. Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Vijender Gupta said: “Kejriwal should resign on moral grounds for the unconstitutional appointment of parliamentary secretaries." Kejriwal said President Pranab Mukherjee was being presented as the face behind the decision to reject the bill, but the real brain behind it was the Union Home Ministry.

“I doubt if the documents even reach the President,” he said. The name of President is used in the decision as a formal practice that is done even in the appointment of IAS officers whose appointment letter says that “President is pleased to appoint so and so”, he said.  
Mukherjee has refused to give assent to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997 that aims to protect with retrospective effect the party MLAs appointed parliamentary secretaries from disqualification under ‘office of profit’ provisions.