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Kejriwal’s ‘lust’ for power led to appointment of 21 Principal Secretaries: Congress

New Delhi: In a belligerent attack, Congress general secretary Ajay Maken on Wednesday asked Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to justify the appointment of 21 Principal Secretaries, while adding that there is no reason but his ‘lust for power’ which could compel the latter to take such a step.

“Did Kejriwal ji tell people what is the job of a Parliament Secretary. Does a Parliament Secretary have that kind of work load that you appointed 21 Parliament Secretaries for your Ministers, how can you justify this step?,” said Maken.

“Till date only Chief Ministers had Parliament Secretaries appointed for themselves and here Kejriwal ji wanted to appoint three Parliament Secretaries for a single minister. A Parliamentary secretary only has legislative work to do. His work is to help the Chief Minister. I was the lone Parliamentary secretary to the Chief Minister; can he answer why he wants to appoint 21 Parliament Secretaries? The only reason why 21 Parliament Secretaries were appointed was lust for power,” he added.

Kejriwal earlier today alleged that the Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) were adopting double standards on the issue surrounding appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries.

Addressing a press conference here, Kejriwal named a few Parliamentary Secretaries appointed in the past by previous governments.

“The Modi government wants to disqualify 21 MLAs from Delhi. There is 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. (ANI)