Post for VS: Govt introduces amendment billtext_fields
Thiruvananthapuram: Ruling LDF government Thursday introduced Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualifications) Amendment Bill, paving way for appointment of CPI-M veteran V S Achuthanandan as chairman of the state's Administrative Reforms Commission.
The bill, moved in line with the LDF's decision to appoint the 92-year-old Left leader to a top government post, invited criticsim from the Opposition, which said it would add burden on the state's Consolidated Fund.
"No person shall be disqualified or deemed ever to have been disqualified for being chosen as and for being, a Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), by reason only that he holds the office of Chairman of the Administrative Reforms Commissions," the bill, introduced by Minister for Law A K Balan, said.
However, Balan said the amendment was not with an intention to give a position to Achuthanandan.
Participating in the debate, Opposition leader Ramesh Chennithala attacked the government for the amendment and said it was the first step to make Achuthanandan chairman of the Administrative Reforms Commission with cabinet rank.
He also disputed government's contention that there would not be any expenses from the Consolidated Fund of the state.
"Definitely there will be expenses from the Fund if Achuthanandan is appointed as Chairman with cabinet rank," he added.
Later, the House referred the bill to the subject committee, which is slated to return to the House for further consideration on July 19.
In the event any MLA is appointed as chiarman of the Administrative Reforms Commission, such appointment would entail his being disqualified as MLA.
Therefore, government decided to amend retrospectively the Legislative Assembly (Removal of Disqualification) Act 1951 to remove such disqualification, the bill said.
Under sub-clause (a) of clause (1) of Article 191, a member of the Legislative Assembly shall be disqualified if he or she holds any office of profit under the government of India or any of the state governments, other than an office declared by law.
Achutanandan led the LDF to an impressive victory in the May 16 assembly polls by vigorously campaigning for the Left front.
The Left party had decided on Pinarayi Vijayan as the Chief Minister, citing Achutanandan's advanced age and physical limitations.
Later, the party and the Left Front decided to give Achuthanandan a "suitable top position" in the government.