The Aam Aadmi Party on Wednesday termed the refusal of assent to a bill to shield 21 of its MLAs from office of profit rule as “purely political” , saying it was part of BJP’s ploy to trouble the Delhi government as Prime Minister Narendra Modi was “scared” of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The party told a news conference that the President’s decision, “based on the Centre’s recommendation”, was not on technical grounds “as being projected” as BJP and Congress themselves had appointed their lawmakers as parliamentary secretaries in Delhi and other states.
The Delhi government released an order, dated May 7, 1997, through which the then BJP government under Sahib Singh had appointed Nand Kishore Garg as parliamentary secretary, AAP said and accused the ruling party at the Centre of “doublespeak”.
Kejriwal tweeted, “Modi is only scared of AAP. He sees AAP everywhere – in the morning, evening, during daytime and in night.”
“The issue is purely political. The President has withheld one bill while the Centre is sitting on more than dozen other pro-people bills such as the Delhi School Education Bill, one on CrPC amendment, the Janlokpal Bill, another on upgrading Netaji Subhash Institute of Technology to a university,” AAP’s Delhi Convenor Dilip Pandey said.
Pandey claimed that earlier Supreme Court orders “make it clear” that a post will be considered office of profit only if monetary gains are involved and that AAP’s parliamentary secretaries never drew salaries or allowances.
Faced with the prospect of fresh polls if the MLAs holding posts of parliamentary secretaries are disqualified, Kejriwal had yesterday wondered why nobody was talking about legislators occupying similar posts in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan and Punjab.
Kejriwal alleged that Modi was indulging in political vendetta against his government as BJP was yet to “digest” its defeat in Delhi polls.
Quoting certain media reports, the party also sought to return fire at BJP by alleging that three hospitals under the municipal corporations of Delhi, namely Kasturba Gandhi Hospital, Hindu Rao Hospital and Rajen Babu TB Hospital, awarded work to a private company worth lakhs of rupees without opening any tender since 2009.