Monday February 19, 2018
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75% salary hike: How Karnataka legislators will use the exchequer’s money

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By Newsgram Staff Writer

The legislators of Karnataka on Monday passed a Bill which will entitle them to a 75 per cent hike in their salaries, making them the highest paid legislators in the country.

“The enormous hike in the salary includes some new categories of reimbursements. These include Rs 5,000 per night for each day of their stay in a hotel with no fixed limits on the number of days,” reported an English newspaper.

” In addition to that legislators are also entitled for using local transport costing Rs 1,500 per day. For the claim of such facilities, they will only have to produce the cash memo, ” quoted Times of India.

According to the Karnataka Ministers’ Salaries and Allowances (Amendment) Bill, 2015, the cost to the exchequer from the hikes is about Rs 44 crore.

After the hike in salary, the chief minister’s salary would increase from Rs 30,000 per month to Rs 50,000, while his cabinet ministers will get a hike from Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000.

Not only this, the regulated personal expenditure of the legislators has also been doubled from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh. A minister of state gets Rs 35,000 as salary against Rs 16,000, while the sumptuary allowance has been hiked from Rs 80,000 to Rs 2 lakh. The amazing thing about the passing of these bills is that there were no hindrance in its way and were   passed without any discussion.

Law Minister T B Jayachandra, who steered the bill, and announced  the approximate additional expense to the state exchequer as Rs 44 crore per annum. The govt. justified  the bills for the increase in the salaries and reimbursements of the legislators by saying that it was necessary , as the cost of living has increased.

Thus, the MLAs and MLCs have been benefited in their basic salary from Rs 20,000 to Rs 25,000, telephone allowance from Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000, constituency allowance from Rs 15,000 to Rs 40,000, constituency travel allowance from Rs 25,000 to Rs 40,000, signifying a total increase of Rs 50,000 per month in the amount that they get directly. Not only this, the legislators have also secured their future by giving themselves a pension of Rs 40,000 per month. Their existing pension is Rs 15,000. Thus, in terms of salary, CM and the speaker are the most benefited body of the state as they would be paid equally but there is no special cheese for the leader of opposition.

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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)