New Delhi: On a day the AAP blamed Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the presidential rejection of a bill on Parliamentary Secretaries, the BJP on Tuesday said the appointment of 21 Parliamentary Secretaries by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is “illegal”.
“The appointment of 21 Parliamentary Secretaries is illegal as there is no provision for it in the law,” BJP parliamentarian Meenakshi Lekhi said here.
“If this (post) does not come under the office of profit, then why did they have to bring in the bill? Because they knew what they did was illegal,” she said.
Lekhi accused the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of furnishing a “false” affidavit before the Election Commission on perks and facilities to be given to its Parliamentary Secretaries.
“The office of profit does not only mean procuring perks and free amenities, but it has a distinct definition even in the capacity of advisers. In the past, (Congress president) Sonia Gandhi and (then Samajwadi Party MP) Jaya Bachchcan lost their seats in Parliament for holding offices of profit,” Lekhi said.
She said when the amendment bill passed by the Delhi assembly for keeping Parliamentary Secretaries out of office of profit purview was rejected by the President, the Aam Aadmi Party even “tried to drag the office of the President into the controversy”.
Kejriwal appointed 21 AAP legislators as Parliamentary Secretaries in March last year.
Thereafter, the state government retrospectively sought an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997.
The President, however, has rejected the amendment bill. That leaves the political fate of the 21 Delhi legislators hanging in balance.