Parliament secretaries the 'eyes, ears and hands' of government: Kejriwal
Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal attacked the BJP and the Congress of double standards over the assignment of parliamentary secretaries. He strongly supported the work of the 21 MLAs appointed as parliamentary secretaries, claiming that "they are the eyes, ears and hands'' of the Delhi government. He said that BJP and Congress too had appointed parliamentary secretaries so why was his government being singled out?
AAP’s dual offices of profit bill rejected by the President
President Pranab Mukherjee rejected the bill passed by Delhi assembly (2015) seeking to spare 21 AAP MLAs appointed as parliamentary secretaries from the scope of `office of profit' criteria. This could mean a disqualification for the MPs. Under section-15 of government of NCT of Delhi Act, 1991 no person can remain an MLA if he/she holds any office of profit under the Centre/state/UT government.
What is 'office of profit' law?
Under the purview of the office-of-profit law, the Indian constitution forbids legislators or parliamentarians from holding any posts with monetary or other perks. According to Article 102 (1)(a) of the Constitution, "a person shall be disqualified as legislator for holding any office of profit under the government of India or the government of any state, other than an office declared by Parliament by law".
MPs affected by 'office-of-profit' controversy in the past
The office of profit controversy had also come knocking on Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan, NCP chief Sharad Pawar , Congress chief Sonia Gandhi, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and industrialist Anil Ambani 's door. Ambani, Gandhi and Bachchan had lost their membership due to this.
What was the AAP amendment about?
The constitution gives the states the power to keep some offices out of the scope of 'office-of-profit'. In 1997, BJP had kept 2 offices out the purview. In 2006, Congress amended it and added a 3rd office. AAP tried to amend this law trying to assure that holding the post of Parliamentary Secretary does not disqualify 21 MLAs from being members of the Vidhan-Sabha.
AAP cries 'political vendetta' in the office-of-profit controversy
The controversy of the disqualification of 21 MLAs for serving as secretaries to ministers saw BJP and Congress demand the disqualification of the 21 MLAs. CM Kejriwal blamed PM Narendra Modi of gratifying his "political vendetta", BJP said Arvind Kejriwal was "obsessed" with charging the PM and asking for his resignation. The election commission may take 2-3 months to decide upon the disqualification.