New Delhi: A day after President Pranab Mukherjee declined to give his assent to a bill backing 21 parliamentary secretaries, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal has attacked Prime minister Narendra Modi for attempting to block development in the national capital.
“Narendra Modiji is after to get them disqualified. Nor does he want to work or let us work. If all these people are disqualified and made to sit at home, what is Modiji getting out of this?” Kejriwal told reporters.
He added, “Haryana, Nagaland, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Pondicherry, West Bengal all have parliamentary secretaries. Even after this Modiji is after only to disqualify our parliamentary secretaries. If there is a problem disqualify all of them. Narendra Modiji is scared of the AAP. He is no longer scared of the Congress.”
He alleged that the decision was taken by the central ministry of home affairs and the file may not even have reached the President.
Justifying the government’s decision to appoint 21 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries, Kejriwal said “We felt that the skills of certain MLA’s can be used for additional responsibilities. They were given different responsibilities but were not being given any compensation. They are being made to work for free.”
He added, “The notification says that parliamentary secretaries will not be eligible for any remuneration or perks of any kind from the government. They are not getting a salary, perks or facility. If an MLA is working for free for schools, hospitals, water, roads, electricity then what problem does Modiji have with that?”
The Delhi government last year passed a bill to exclude the post of parliamentary secretary from the office of profit and exempt the post from disqualification provisions. A letter from the President’s office declining his assent was received by the office of Lt governor Najeeb Jung on Monday. A copy of the letter has been sent to the Delhi government.(Agencies)