SHILLONG, July 26: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) Meghalaya has on Tuesday sought the immediate intervention of the Chief Election Commissioner of India to disqualify the 18 MLAs of the Congress government in the State who have been appointed to the posts of Parliamentary Secretary.
In a letter sent to the Chief Election Commissioner of India, the State General Secretary of the AAP, Wonder Lapang said that the MLAs holding the posts of profit is against Article 191 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India.
“What the Congress government is doing by appointing these parliamentary Secretaries will greatly affect the State Exchequer,” Lapang said while adding that the Parliamentary Secretaries are enjoying a number of perks such as the facilities of cars, bungalows, police escorts, good salaries besides enjoying the status of Ministers in the state.
“All these come under the purview of ‘Office of Profit’ as per Article 191 (1) (a) of the Constitution of India,” pointed out Lapang while terming the same as a wastage of public money.
Lapang also said that when the general public approach their respective MLAs to get their grievances redressed such as repair of roads, establishment of health centres and such, the reply that they get is that the Government has no money.
“It is true that the money has gone where it should not have gone,” said Lapang. He also said that it is unfortunate that the State Government, by appointing the Parliamentary Secretaries, has hijacked the true meaning of Article 191 (1) (a).
Lapang also pointed out that the Election Commission of India had recently taken the initiative to disqualify 21 MLAs of the AAP in Delhi holding the post of Parliamentary Secretaries under the purview of Office of Profit. He also said that this had been done in spite of a clarification that these Parliamentary Secretaries will not get any remuneration or perks from the Government and as such are not a burden on the Exchequer.
In this regard, the State AAP has called for the Centre to use the same yardstick in dealing with the issue of appointment of Parliamentary Secretaries in Meghalaya.