New Delhi: Amid ongoing furor over Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's appointing 21 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) MLAs as parliamentary secretaries, former Delhi chief secretary Omesh Saigal has admitted that he was "aware of the danger in which the MLAs were being put into" and that is why "he had written to Kejriwal after his government issued a notification that the MLAs would be using staff cars".
Speaking to ANI, Saigal said he did not warn Kejriwal, but it was a "friendly kind of note", which he wrote to his IIT batch mate.
"I did not warn Kejriwal. When they declared that the 21 MLAs as parliamentary secretaries, I did not apply my mind because the government had already applied its mind," Saigal said.
"But when they issued another notification in newspapers that they would now use staff cars, then I did send a mail that it is not right, because I had earlier filed an application before the President, who had referred it to the Election Commission against one health minister, who was ex-official of AIIMS and he was also using this car," he added.
The former chief secretary further said he knew that Kejriwal was putting his MLAs into danger.
"So, I thought as an ex-Kharagpurian, it was my duty to send a warning kind of note. I don`t even know if it reached him, I didn`t pursue it. Frankly speaking, I don`t even remember it. I thought it was just a friendly advice," he said.
President Pranab Mukherjee refused his assent to a Delhi Government`s Bill seeking to exclude the post of parliamentary secretary from the office of profit, raising a question over the fate of 21 AAP MLAs, who have been appointed to the posts.
The AAP Government had sought an amendment to the Delhi Members of Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act, 1997 through which it had sought "retrospective" exemption for the parliamentary secretaries from disqualification provisions.
Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung forwarded the Bill to the Centre, which in turn was sent to the President with comments.