Pressclubofindia, Indian Tehalka News
Following the recent controversy which had forced the son-in-law of Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi to quit his job as his personal assistant, the Bihar government through a circular has redefined the Bihar Legislature (members’ salary, allowances and pension) Act, 2006, saying relatives of ministers and the chief minister could now be appointed as private secretaries or personal staff.
While issuing a new circular on December 3, the Cabinet coordination department of the State government said the word “relative” in the said Act was not properly defined. The government now has substituted the word “relative” with “family members” which means anyone besides wife-husband, sons-daughters and parents who are directly dependent on the ministers or the chief minister, could be their personal assistants or staffs.
Earlier, Devendra Kumar, son-in-law of Mr. Manjhi, had to resign as CM’s Personal Assistant as his appointment had violated the government’s circular issued in May 2000 prohibiting ministers and chief minister from appointing their “relatives” as private secretaries or even keep them as their staff like peons or clerks.
Taking a stern note of the practice, even Prime Minister Narendra Modi had asked his ministers not to keep any of their family members or relatives as personal assistants or staff.
Under the redefined rule, anybody besides the dependent family members could be appointed as PA of ministers and the chief minister as well. Even the appointment of Devendra Kumar would not be illegal, said the BJP leaders.
State BJP leader Sushil Modi has criticised the Chief Minister for abusing his powers to exert pressure on the Cabinet Principal Secretary “to issue this fresh circular to justify appointment of his son in-law as his PA”.
The ruling Janata Dal-United leaders, however, have refused to make any comment on this saying they have not gone through the new circular yet.
From : The Hindu