August 13, 2016 4:46:05 am
Chief Minister Vijay Rupani Friday named three more parliamentary secretaries in his government, taking the total number of such appointments to 11 — the highest in any government of Gujarat. The three new appointees were Purnesh Modi, Hira Solanki and Poonam Makwana. The appointments came days after Rupani had named eight parliamentary secretaries on August 9.
In fact, the government then had issued a release that with 25 ministers and eight parliamentary secretaries, it has given adequate representation to all regions and communities in the state. It is believed that the three appointments have been made to calm down voices of dissatisfaction among certain sections of the party. Modi, an OBC member, is an MLA from Surat (West) constituency. Hira Solanki, also an OBC member, is an MLA from Rajula constituency and brother MoS Fisheries Parshottam Solanki. Makwana, on the other hand, is a Dalit elected from the reserved seat of Dasada. Earlier, the most number of parliamentary secretaries (7) were in the Narendra Modi government. Anandiben government had five parliamentary secretaries.
Attacking the government over appointment of parliamentary secretaries, AAP accused the ruling BJP of being “two-faced”.
In June, President Pranab Mukherjee had withheld the assent to a Bill passed by the Delhi government in June 2015 to exempt the post of Parliamentary Secretary from the purview of an office-of-profit with retrospective effect. The AAP Government in Delhi had appointed 21 parliamentary secretaries to assist its ministers. “When AAP formed the government in Delhi, we had announced 21 parliamentary secretaries… At that time, BJP had called their appointments as unconstitutional… Our legal team is looking into the matter and we will approach the Gujarat HC in this regard,” said Harshil Nayak, media coordinator of AAP in Gujarat.
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