YSRCP Parliamentary Party Chief and Andhra Govt’s special representative in Delhi MP V Vijaya Sai Reddy has been cleared of the charge of holding an office of profit for being appointed as the Andhra Pradesh government’s special Representative in Delhi. In an order, President Ram Nath Kovind accepted the Election Commission of India’s opinion that Mr. Reddy had not incurred disqualification as an MP for his role as the AP Government’s special representative.

The EC’s June 8 opinion said the government order appointing Mr. Reddy on July 7, 2019, had stated that he would not be “entitled for any other perks”. He would, however, enjoy the status of “state guest” while under­ taking official visits to Andhra Pradesh as special representative of the State Government at Andhra Bhavan of New Delhi. the EC opinion said, citing the government order.

The President’s order stat­ed that a petition seeking dis­qualification of Reddy as an MP was received on September 9, 2019, and the petition had been referred to the EC for its opinion. Mr. Reddy was elected to the Rajya Sab­ha on June 3, 2016, and was then appointed to the office of Special Representative by the State government and gi­ven the rank of a Cabinet Mi­nister on June 22, 2019.

The appointment was cancelled on July 4, 2019, as Mr. Reddy was holding an office of profit, the petition said. MP Vijay Sai Reddy was then re­-appointed to the role on July 7, 2019, with the clarification that he would not be entitled to any other perks other than “enjoying the status of State guest during his official travels in the State of Andhra Pradesh in connection with performance of his duties as Special Representative”, the President’s order stated.

The EC cited the Parlia­ment (Prevention of Disqual­ ification) Act 1959 Section 3, where a list of offices of profit that do not lead to dis­qualification includes cer­tain offices where the holder is “not entitled to any re­-numeration other than compensatory allowance”. The EC also cited judgments that have held that “an office will not fall in the category of ‘Office of Profit’ if no pecuniary gain can be made form it”