NEW DELHI: Stepping up its demand for disqualification of 21 AAP MLAs appointed as Parliamentary Secretaries, Congress today said not receiving salary alone did not shield them against provisions of 'office of profit' law.
"AAP has cried hoarse saying that these 21 MLAs/ Parliamentary secretaries received no salaries. As they clamber to save themselves, it appears AAP have not bothered to read Supreme Court’s judgements which have clearly stated that ‘office of profit’ is not deemed by salary alone," the party said in a commentary.
In the commentary posted on its website, the AICC insisted that the office of profit is determined by perks too.
"It is determined by perks, which undoubtedly these 21 MLAs were enjoying under Kejriwal’s Government and at the cost of the Delhi tax-payer," it said in the commentary titled "Kejriwal has the ‘Office’, AAP MLAs enjoy the ‘Profits’"
The party said that after winning 67 seats in the Delhi Assembly, Kejriwal had to accommodate many party colleagues in "positions of power".
As there is a limit to the number of Ministers, Shri Kejriwal, in an attempt at ingenuity, gave 21 MLAs the position of ‘Parliamentary Secretaries'. These positions are not in the statute books, so are not legal and have been deemed an ‘Office of Profit’, it said.
It said as per the law, MLAs are not allowed to hold any office of profit under the central or state government or Union Territory administration.
The AICC claimed that rejection of the concerned bill by the President has shown that the "facade of honesty and integrity which Kejirwal and AAP have built is crumbling in the face of scrutiny."
It alleged that this is the latest in a long line of corruption charges being levelled against AAP. Transport Minister Gopal Rai, who was facing allegations of corruption in the Premium Bus Service scheme, has now been "forced" to resign from his post, it said.
"Instead of providing an explanation or accepting the precedent set by the Supreme Court, AAP has decided to take a leaf out of the BJP and Shri Narendra Modi’s book and brazen out this scam. Thus, proving once and for all that AAP and BJP are two sides of the same coin," it added.