Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of trying to get 21 AAP MLAs disqualified because he was scared of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
In an audio statement on Tuesday, he also charged that the home ministry, and not President Pranab Mukherjee, was behind the move against the 21 legislators on the ground that they also held the post of Parliamentary Secretaries.
The Aam Aadmi Party leader said there were 24 Parliamentary Secretaries each in Nagaland and Punjab, six in Himachal Pradesh and five in Rajasthan besides those in Haryana, Gujarat, Puducherry and West Bengal.
Kejriwal pointed out that Parliamentary Secretaries in Punjab got a remuneration of Rs 1 lakh plus an official car with a red beacon and an official bungalow.
"Our Parliamentary Secretaries don't get a penny, still everyone is after them and Modiji wants to disqualify them.
"If he wants to disqualify, then all the Parliamentary Secretaries in the country should be disqualified. Why only those belong to Delhi? Even Modiji had Parliamentary secretaries in Gujarat."
Asking why Modi was not disqualifying the Parliamentary Secretaries of other states, Kejriwal said: "Because Modiji is scared of the AAP. Modiji is not scared of the Congress. He is actually afraid of the AAP."
Kejriwal's statement came on a day media reports said that President Mukherjee had refused his ascent to a proposed legislation that sought to protect, with retrospective effect, the 21 MLAs from disqualification for holding additional posts deemed unconstitutional, given their status as elected representatives.
Kejriwal said: "President does not take the decisions here. The files may not even reach him. This decision has been taken by the MHA (ministry of home affairs).
"Only the name of President has been used. Maybe the file never reached the President.
"As it happens in the case of appointment of officers, it is written on their letter that President is pleased to appoint you, but the decision is taken by the DoPT."
Explaining why some legislators were made Parliamentary Secretaries, Kejriwal said some AAP MLAs were educated and "very well qualified.
"They are looking after their assembly constituencies really well and we thought we could use their skills better and gave them additional responsibilities.
"One MLA was told to look after the government schools; one was given the responsibility of looking after the hospitals and other with the roads, water and power.
"We are not paying a penny to these MLAs and they are working for free,” he said, showing the notification passed by the Delhi government.
The notification says Parliamentary Secretaries would not be eligible for any remuneration or perk of any kind from the government.
"If any MLA is looking after the schools, roads, water and power, what is the problem with Modiji?"
"Narendra Modi is bent (getting) these people disqualified. Neither he want to work nor he would let anyone work.
"If these people are disqualified, what would Modiji get from this? Modiji says Sonia Gandhi is not letting Parliament function as she is not able to digest the (Congress) defeat (in 2014).