Chandigarh, – The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) today condemned the Congress government for trying to regularize the illegal and unconstitutional appointment of seven legislators as Advisors in the rank of Ministers with retrospective effect by giving its nod to amend the Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1952 .
In a statement here, former minister Bikram Singh Majithia said all seven Congress legislators – Raj Kumar Verka, Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, Kuljit Singh Nagra, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Inderbir Singh Bolaria, Kushaldeep Dhillon and Tarsem Singh DC had already invited disqualification upon themselves by accepting an office of profit in the form of Advisors in the rank of cabinet/minister of state rank. He said the appointment violated the 91st amendment of the constitution which stated that the total number of ministers shall not exceed 15 per cent of the total strength of the State assembly.
Stating that these appointments could not be regularized retrospectively, Mr Majithia said “the very fact that the Congress government is trying to regularize the appointments by moving a Bill to amend Section 2 of the Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification), Act proves that the appointments were not made as per law. “The government should not compound its mistake by going in for desperate measures to save these appointments and should scrap them immediately”, he added.
Mr Majithia said the SAD would also ask the Congress government to explain the rationale behind appointing seven legislators as Advisors in the Vidhan Sabha, saying this was being proposed at a time when the State was unable to give mid day meals, SC scholarships, old age penstion, shagun scheme, sugarcane dues or even Dearness Allowance installments to its employees. He said it was a matter of shame that crores of rupees were proposed to be spent on the seven Advisors but nothing was being done to give employment, unemployment allowance of Rs 2,500 per month or mobile phones to youth or even jobs and compensation to farm suicide victim families.
Stating that the common man would bear the cost of this profligacy, the SAD leader said “already people have been saddled with a 30 per cent increase in power tariff during the last two and a half years of Congress rule”. He said even under privileged sections of society had not been spared with Dalits being served bills of lakhs of rupees.
“All this shows that the appointment of seven Advisors has nothing to do with performance of the Congress government which as such is zero”, Mr Majithia said adding “already there are 20 other political appointees in the government including 13 Advisors, four political secretaries, nine OSDs and one chief principal secretary”. He said instead of wasting public money in such a manner Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh should reshuffle his cabinet and accommodate these seven legislators.
Mr Majithia said the seven legislators should also not accept the post of Advisors in public interest since they had been elected to the august House to address the issues of the people and not for personal gain. He said rejecting the post of Advisor would be the correct people friendly decision which would raise their esteem in the eyes of their constituents. EOM