The Aam Aadmi Party has written to the Election Commission seeking disqualification of 24 Parliamentary secretaries appointed by the Punjab government and 9 by Himachal Pradesh. In line with the 91st amendment in Article 164 (1A), only 10% of the total legislative strength can be part of the Cabinet, including Parliamentary secretaries.
This letter comes in the wake of the Election Commission’s decision to hold a personal hearing for the 21 AAP MLAs on July 14. There MLAs have been accused of holding offices of profit as well. These MLAs will either continue as representatives in the Delhi legislative assembly or be appointed as Parliamentary secretaries. Alka Lamba, Jarnail Singh, Adarsh Shastri and Rajesh Gupta are among the 21 MLAs.
The AAP government had passed a bill in the Delhi assembly to exempt Parliamentary secretaries from the definition of “office of profit”. However, this bill was rejected by President Pranab Mukherjee. The party maintains that its MLAs do not hold any position of power or receive remunerations as Parliamentary secretaries.