IN A 30-minute meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee, a delegation of top AAP leaders sought ‘disqualification’ of parliamentary secretaries in Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh for allegedly holding office of profit in addition to being MLAs. While making a case for their own 21 parliamentary secretaries, the delegation pointed out that while the AAP MLAs were not given any ‘pecuniary benefits’, those in other states drew salaries and other perks in addition to allowances as legislators.
The delegation submitted a memorandum to Mukherjee which read, “Chief Ministers of various states have administered oath to MLAs as chief parliamentary secretaries/ parliamentary secretaries. Appointment of these chief parliamentary secretaries/ parliamentary secretaries are prima facie in violation in letter and spirit of the Constitution as they are getting salaries, allotted VIP vehicles and other perks for which ministers in these states are entitled. It is very pertinent to bring to your notice that the financial condition of these states is bleeding.”
“In these circumstances where crores of rupees are being spent on these chief parliamentary secretaries/ parliamentary secretaries against the Constitution; it is respectfully prayed that these MLAs, who are holding office of profit in addition to being MLAs, should be immediately disqualified.”
The delegation cited examples from four states — 11 parliamentary secretaries each in Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, four in Haryana and nine in Himachal Pradesh.
After the meeting, Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said, “In other states, parliamentary secretaries have been given red beacon cars, accommodation and all other perks equivalent to the status of a deputy minister. This amounts to office of profit while we have given no such pecuniary benefits.”