Take revenge on me, don't stop the good work in Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal's request to PM Modi

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to not stop the "good work that is being carried out in Delhi" and said that Modi's fight is with him. "Take revenge on me, but don't stop the work," said Kejriwal during a press meet on Wednesday.

The Aam Aadmi Party government is facing pressure from the Opposition parties after President Pranab Mukherjee refused to give assent to a legislation that seeks to protect 21 party MLAs, who have been appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries. The president rejected the amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997 passed by the Delhi Assembly and now the MLAs face the prospect of disqualification.

The Delhi Chief Minister on Wednesday asked the BJP and the Congress why they were questioning his government for appointing MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries when they themselves did it.

Taking the names of former chief ministers, Kejriwal told the media that BJP leader Sahib Singh Verma appointed a legislator as his Parliamentary Secretary in 1997.

"It is okay when the BJP does it. But when AAP does it, it becomes unconstitutional," Kejriwal said, adding his predecessor Sheila Dixit had also appointed Ajay Maken as her Parliamentary Secretary when she was the chief minister.

Kejriwal also defended the 21 MLAs and claimed that they are the "eyes, ears and hands" of the Delhi government and are qualified and hardworking. He said that these Parliamentary Secretaries have helped in creating 8,000 classrooms in Delhi and worked with the mohallah clinics and hospitals without getting benefits or remunerations.

Meanwhile, Congress' Ajay Maken alleged that the AAP should rechristen itself as the 'Khaas Aadmi Party'. He said that the previous governments had appointed Parliamentary Secretaries after following due procedures and that Kejriwal's government had bypassed all illegalities and appointed 1/3 of its MLAs as Parliamentary Secretaries.

Meanwhile, the Election Commission of India is planning to call the 21 AAP MLAs for a hearing against a complaint of occupying the posts ‘unconstitutionally’. Earlier, the AAP Parliamentary Secretaries had told the Election Commission that their post was similar to an 'intern', or a 'volunteer assistant' attached to a Cabinet minister.

The EC sought their replies after Delhi lawyer Prashant Patel sent a petition to the president’s office asking him to take action against the creation of 21 “unconstitutional” posts by the Delhi government. The plea further questioned the MLAs on why they should not be disqualified.

With input from agencies

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Updated Date: Jun 15, 2016 19:34:25 IST