Newly-formed Congress government in Chhattisgarh will appoint MLAs as parliamentary secretaries but they will not be entitled to claim facilities at par with Cabinet ministers, state Forest Minister Mohammad Akbar said Monday.
He also clarified that the parliamentary secretaries will not function as ministers but will work as their assistants without holding the office of profit.
The minister, however, didn't mention the exact number of MLAs to be appointed as parliamentary secretaries.
Interestingly, Akbar had in 2017 challenged the appointment of 11 parliamentary secretaries by the then BJP government in the Chhattisgarh High Court terming them illegal and unconstitutional.
"It is correct that I had challenged the appointment of MLAs as parliamentary secretaries in the high court citing that they were holding office of profit and therefore, their appointments should be quashed. The HC had ruled that the parliamentary secretaries will not be entitled to power and facilities at par with ministers," Akbar told reporters here.
He said the state Congress government would work as per the decision of the HC, and parliamentary secretaries will be appointed.
"In our government, parliamentary secretaries will not function as ministers but will work as their assistants without holding the office of profit. We willstrictly comply with the directives of the HC," he added.
The previous Raman Singh government had appointed 11 MLAs as parliamentary sectaries and granted them a status equivalent to state ministers.
Congress had last January demanded disqualification of these MLAs for "holding" the posts as parliamentary secretaries.
In April 2018, the HC dismissed the two petitions but maintained its interim order, passed in 2017, that the parliamentary secretaries will not be entitled to power and facilities at par with ministers.
The Congress came to power last month after ending 15-year rule of the BJP government. The new Cabinet has 12 members including the chief minister.
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