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Cong govt trying to 'regularize illegal' appointment of advisors to CM: SAD

twitter-logo PTI        Last Updated: November 2, 2019  | 20:11 IST

Chandigarh, Nov 2 (PTI) The Shiromani Akali Dal accused the Congress government in Punjab of trying to "regularise unconstitutional" appointments by deciding to amend a law under which advisors to the chief minister for planning and political matters will not be disqualified for holding offices of profit. The Punjab cabinet decided on Friday to amend the Punjab State Legislature (Prevention of Disqualification) Act, 1952. After this amendment, members of the assembly appointed as advisors in the rank of ministers under this category will not be disqualified for holding offices of profit. In a statement, former minister and SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia said that Congress MLAs Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Kuljit Singh Nagra, Sangat Singh Gilzian, Inderbir Singh Bolaria, Kushaldeep Dhillon and Tarsem Singh DC had already invited disqualification by accepting an office of profit in the form of advisors in the rank of cabinet/minister of state rank. The appointments violate 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, he said. Asserting that these appointments could not be regularized retrospectively, Majithia said that the Congress government 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 said. Majithia said the SAD would also ask the Congress government to explain the rationale behind appointing MLAs as advisors at a time when the state was unable to give midday meals, scheduled caste scholarships and old age pension. The Punjab government has appointed six minister-rank advisors to Chief Minister Amarinder Singh. Five Congress MLAs were given the status of cabinet ministers and the sixth that of a minister of state. Four MLAs -- Kushaldeep Singh Dhillon, Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Sangat Singh Gilzian and Inderbir Singh Bolaria were designated as advisors (political) while Kuljeet Singh Nagra was designated as advisor (planning). All the five had been given the Cabinet rank and status. Tarsem Singh DC was given the designation of advisor (planning) with the rank of a minister of state. PTI CHS VSD NSD NSD

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