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Salaries of AAP’s ‘Khas’ MLAs, ministers up four times

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New Delhi: Aam Admi Party’s Delhi government led by Arvind Kejriwal that claims to represent the interest of the common man has approved four times increase in the salaries of AAP lawmakers and ministers in the national capital.

According to reports, the pay of Delhi MLAs has been increased from Rs 12,000 per month to Rs 50,000 while the ministers will now draw Rs 80,000 instead of Rs 20,000 per month. However, the overall income of a Delhi legislator could shoot up from Rs 88,000 to about Rs 2.1 lakh now.

This comes at a time when debt-ridden farmers are putting an end to their precious lives.

AAP leader Sanjay Singh had opposed the hike sought by his party’s lawmakers citing the plight of the farmers.

“Jab desh mein itne farmers suicide kar rahe hai, aise samay par hum apni salary badhaye ye sahi nahi hai (At a time when farmers are committing suicide in our country, it is not right to increase salaries),” Singh had said.

An independent three-member panel had suggested the hike on October 6 this year which has been approved by the Delhi government. The Aam Aadmi Party government had set up the panel to look into the revision of salary after a dozen of its legislators complained that it was not enough.

“Keeping in view the cost of living in Delhi and given the fact that there is no provision being made for housing allowance or for reimbursement of bills for amenities such as electricity and water, the Committee recommends that the salary be raised from the present level of Rs 12,000 per month to Rs 50,000 per month,” said the panel in its 21-page report.

The committee, chaired by former Lok Sabha secretary general P D T Achary, had submitted the report to Delhi assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel.

Besides, the hiked proposed for constituency allowance was Rs 50,000 from Rs 18,000 while conveyance allowances, the panel said, should be increased to Rs 30,000 from Rs 6,000 per month.

The panel suggested that lawmakers should get a reimbursement of Rs 70,000 as an allowance under Secretarial, Research and Office Assistance. Presently, the amount is Rs 30,000.

To meet office-related expenses, the panel said MLAs should get Rs 25,000. For communication, the allowance should be Rs 10,000. The committee also recommended that daily allowance in the assembly which is Rs 1,000 be raised to Rs 2,000.

However, the BJP and the Congress had slammed the ruling party in Delhi over the proposed hike.

“They want their salaries to be hiked from Rs 88,000 to Rs 2,10,000. They want posh residences. Is this the Aam Aadmi Party government,” BJP Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay had asked.

Youth Congress workers had staged a protest outside Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence over the recommended hike in the salaries of legislators.

The protesters, carrying banners and placards with messages such as ‘Aam aadmi hua khaas, janata ka uth gaya inse vishwas’ (Common man has become special, he has lost public faith), had raised slogans against the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government.

(With inputs from agencies)

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  • Rakesh Manchanda

    Wah ! what a way to accomplish Swaraj when millions lose their work each day

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Blow for Kejriwal: EC recommends disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs

A big blow to the Aam Aadmi Party after the Election Commission recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs

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Arvind Kejriwal's party seems to be in trouble after the EC recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs. Wikimedia commons
Arvind Kejriwal's party seems to be in trouble after the EC recommended disqualification of 20 of its MLAs. Wikimedia Commons
  • The EC recommended disqualification of 20 AAP MLAs under the ‘office of profit’ pretext
  • AAP looks forward to approaching the Delhi High court
  • The controversy started after Prashant Patel had submitted an application to the President

The Election Commission has recommended the disqualification 20 AAP MLAs. The EC found them guilty of holding an ‘office of profit’. The recommendation has been sent to the President. If cleared, the disqualification would mean that AAP’s strength in Delhi Assembly will reduce from 67 to 47.

The 20 AAP legislators were accused of being unconstitutionally appointed as parliamentary secretaries to assist various ministers of the Delhi government. The EC’s opinion on this matter means that the AAP legislators are set to be disqualified, which could soon force a mini Assembly election in the national capital.

The party now looks forward to approach the Delhi High Court, pleading that the recommendation be struck down. Wikimedia Commons
The party now looks forward to approaching the Delhi High Court, pleading that the recommendation is struck down. Wikimedia Commons

“This is unprecedented. The MLAs in question didn’t get a chance to present their case before the EC. In fact, we didn’t hear the news from the EC, but news channels,” AAP spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said.

ALSO READ: Anna Hazare comes out in open support about Chanda Bandh Satyagraha against Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)

Opposition parties have demanded the immediate resignation of Arvind Kejriwal as chief minister of Delhi on moral ground.

The ‘office of profit’ controversy had started after a lawyer, Prashant Patel, had filed an application in 2015 to the President’s office. It questioned the appointment of AAP MLAs as parliamentary secretaries.

The Congress had filed a petition in Election Commission in 2016 as a follow-up, based on this application. The opposition party sought disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs.

Kejriwal had appointed MLAs in March 2015 and his government passed an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997, in June 2015. Wikimedia Commons

AAP had argued that this post did not qualify as an office of profit as there is no monetary benefit attached to it. But then President Pranab Mukherjee refused to give assent, following which the appointments were set aside by the Delhi High Court in September 2016, declaring them illegal since the order had been passed “without concurrence/approval of the Lt Governor”.

ALSO READ: Discontentment in the Aam Aadmi Party is resulting in Resignation and withdrawals from the party

In the first reaction to the EC recommendation, AAP spokesperson Nagendar Sharma tweeted:

Here’s the list of 20 MLAs who have been recommended to be disqualified: 

1. Naresh Yadav (Mehrauli)
2. Som Dutt (Sadar Bazar)
3. Praveen Kumar (Jangpura)
4. Nitin Tyagi (Laxmi Nagar)
5. Adarsh Shastri (Dwarka)
6. Sanjeev Jha (Burari)
7. Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar)
8. Sukhvir Singh (Mundka)
9. Madan Lal (Kasturba Nagar)
10. Sarita Singh (Rohtas Nagar)
11. Alka Lamba (Chandni Chowk)
12. Rajesh Rishi (Janakpuri)
13. Anil Kumar Bajpai (Gandhi Nagar)
14. Manoj Kumar (Kondli)
15. Kailash Gahlot (Najafgarh)
16. Avtar Singh (Kalkaji)
17. Vijendar Garg Vijay (Rajinder Nagar)
18. Rajesh Gupta (Wazirpur)
19. Sharad Kumar (Narela)
20. Shiv Charan Goel (Moti Nagar)