Congress opposes appointment of parliamentary secretaries in Delhi

New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) The Congress on Monday opposed the Delhi government’s move to regularise the appointment of 21 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators as parliamentary secretaries.

The Congress also said it would approach Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung and appeal to him not to give the nod to Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification Amendment) Bill, 2015, passed on June 24 by the Delhi assembly to facilitate the regularisation.

“This is a desperate move by an under-confident chief minister who wants to accommodate his party legislators in VIP berths in order to keep them united,” Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken said at a press conference here.

The bill was moved by Law and Justice Minister Kapil Mishra in the Delhi assembly.

Soon after returning to power, the Delhi government issued an order to appoint 21 AAP legislators as parliamentary secretaries attached to government ministries, claiming it would facilitate smooth functioning of the government.

Maken said that considering the powers and perks, these parliamentary secretaries were nothing short of any minister of state.

“When a legislator, who is not empowered to be a minister, is made parliamentary secretary by circumventing what is provided in the law, it attracts the legal provisions related to office of profit. So we feel these 21 MLAs should resign immediately,” said Maken, who is also the Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief.

“We are looking forward to a meeting with the Lt. Governor. We urge him not to give his assent to the bill passed by the Delhi legislative assembly in its budget session to shield the 21 parliamentary secretaries,” Maken said.

As for the issues of governance in Delhi, Maken said: “It is unfortunate that the Delhi High court has to intervene in each and every matter of the national capital. If such situation persists, it means there is no semblance of governance in Delhi.”

“Governance in Delhi is paralysed and has come to a standstill,” he said.

Asked about differences between the Delhi and the central governments when the Congress was in power, Maken said: “During the Congress rule, we also had differences with the union government, but we never let the situation drift the way it is doing now.”

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