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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

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Wednesday, December 7, 2022
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Punjab: Proposed legislative secretary posts fail to enthuse Congress MLAs

CHANDIGARH, April 26: The Congress government’s plan to mollify party MLAs left out of the cabinet expansion with the post of legislative secretaries seems to have failed to evoke the expected response. Besides, the state government wants to be double sure while introducing the new concept lest it gets stuck in yet another legal tangle.

“I would rather be involved in direct contact with general public. For that matter, even heading a board or corporation would not be an attractive offer,” said a senior MLA, who was a frontrunner in the race for a cabinet berth.

The proposal is not being seen seriously and has failed to generate the expected hype among the party leaders.

“I do not know much about this concept yet. There has not been any discussion even in the party forum. I don’t see I would fit the bill on this post, especially it has no independent charge,” said another MLA, requesting anonymity.

A senior congress leader added, “Any MLA who hopes to bargain with the party a bit would try to be accommodated on a better position. The profile does not seem to hold much attraction. This is the feedback we have received so far.”

As it is, the legislative secretaries would not get any extra pay and allowances and would get no new facilities other than those they are drawing as MLAs. They would be assisted by secretarial staff for smooth functioning in the assembly.

As per the available information, unlike the traditional concept of parliamentary secretaries, the legislative secretaries will not be looking into execution of the government’s plans but look at the legislative business instead. They would instead be appointed by the assembly speaker and are likely to be given office space there

An official, meanwhile, said that the government was still in the process of studying similar concepts that are there in a few other states. “If the proposal gets a go ahead, it will be put up in the next cabinet meeting scheduled for April 30. But as of now, there is no certainty,” he said.

With the Congress getting an overwhelming majority by winning 77 seats out of the 117, there has been growing unrest among a section of party leaders who want an end to Akali influence in their areas. They have been raising demands like transfer of certain police officials with the party leadership.

“In such a scenario, the MLAs would either want to be in the cabinet or at least head a board or corporation. With no offence to any profession, this profile is being seen as clerical in nature,” said another leader.

The Punjab and Haryana high court had in August 2016 quashed the appointment of Punjab’s chief parliamentary secretaries for having bypassed constitutional mandate.

Source: timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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