Terming Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s attempt to appoint 21 Principal Secretaries as a mistake, the Congress on Thursday sought an apology from the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief and asked him to seek resignation of all the legislators and contest polls again.
Congress leader Pramod Tiwari told reporters, “Appointing 21 Principal Secretaries is not justifiable. The question is straight that what is the reason behind this? Kejriwal ji has been caught doing a mistake, so I believe he must apologies. If he is a correct person he must ask all his 21 MLAs to resign and contest for polls again, it will prove that his popularity has increased or decreased.”
On Wednesday, Kejriwal had alleged that the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were adopting double standards on the issue surrounding appointment of the Parliamentary Secretaries.
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Addressing a press conference in New Delhi, Kejriwal named a few Parliamentary Secretaries appointed in the past by the previous governments.
“The Modi government wants to disqualify 21 MLAs from Delhi. There is a saying ‘100 chuhe kha ke billi hajj ko chali’, this applies both with the BJP and the Congress,” Kejriwal said.
“When Sahib Singh Verma ji was the chief minister, he appointed Nand Kishore Garg, the then MLA from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), his Parliamentary Secretary on May 7, 1997. So, it is like if the BJP appoints a Parliamentary Secretary then it is legal and if we want to appoint the same then it illegal and unconstitutional. After that the Congress government came and Sheila Dikshit ji appointed Ajay Maken ji as her Parliamentary Secretary. These all are double standards,” he added.
The Delhi Government Bill to exclude the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the office of profit has been refused assent by the President, raising questions over the fate of 21 AAP MLAs, who have been appointed to the posts.
The AAP Government had sought an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997 through which it had sought “retrospective” exemption for the parliamentary secretaries from disqualification provisions.
Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung forwarded the Bill to the Centre, which in turn was sent to the President with comments.