Bolt out of the blue for AAP government, 21 MLAs face disqualification

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Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal

With President Pranab Mukherjee holding assent to a bill protecting 21 AAP MLAs, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on 14 June accused PM Narendra Modi of indulging in political vendetta and said the BJP could not forget the defeat in Delhi.

In a shocker to the AAP government, the President refused to pass Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, which protects 21 MLAs appointed as parliamentary secretaries. These AAP MLAs now face disqualification.

Meanwhile, a body called Rashtriya Mukti Morcha had filed a PIL in the Delhi High Court, stating the MLAs enjoy the status and perks of ministers, akin to misusing taxpayer’s money. The PIL alleges that these appointments are unconstitutional should be cancelled forthwith.

When the parliamentary secretaries were appointed, the AAP government had said they would facilitate smooth government functioning, but they have now become a burden on the exchequer.

The plea states the CM has no authority whatsoever to administer oath of office to these parliamentary secretaries, who occupy offices of profit in violation of Constitution.

Meanwhile, Kejriwal said, “We have given additional responsibilities to our MLAs. Our notification clearly mentons they are not entitled to any remuneration, perks, facilities or services from the government.”

“If all are disqualified and made to sit at home, what will the Centre get from this. Modi still has not come to terms with the defeat in Delhi and that is why they not letting us work,” he added.

There are parliament secretaries in Haryana, Punjab, Gujarat, West Bengal and other states. Punjab PS get Rs 1 lakh per month, car and bungalow as well. But they haven’t been disqualified. Why only Delhi?” he asked.