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‘We are the eyes and ears of Ministers’

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Parliamentary Secretaries say they didn’tget any monetary benefits

As the controversy surrounding the appointment of 21 AAP Parliamentary Secretaries escalated after the President refused to give assent to the Bill, The Hindu spoke to some of them and they all said that they never got any monetary benefit from the post.

Residing in a two-room accommodation in Sidhartha Basti, near Sarai Kale Khan, AAP’s Jangpura MLA and Education Parliamentary Secretary Praveen Kumar’s efforts to keep a check on government schools was praised by Mr. Kejriwal.

The 32-year-old MLA says that he uses his own vehicle and randomly visits government schools.

‘Additional expense’

“I am the eyes and ears of the Minister. When we see any irregularities in any school, we do ground reporting to double check,” said Mr. Kumar. He then informs Education Minister Manish Sisodia, who conducts a check based on the tip-off.

While Mr. Kumar takes a lot of interest in his ‘investigative’ work, the additional responsibility is affecting his finances. Mr. Kumar claims he uses his own vehicle and has never taken any monetary benefit.

“It is an additional responsibility and a bigger one. But with no monetary allowances, it is also an additional expenditure,” said the Parliamentary Secretary.

Burari MLA Sanjeev Jha says that before he became an MLA, he used to sleep on the floor and does so even now. He is the Parliamentary Secretary for Transport. Mr. Jha said he is an intermediary between the Transport Minister and the people. “Whenever there is a transport department meeting, I present people’s grievances,” said Mr. Jha. He and his team conduct checks at bus depots and CNG centres.

“During the odd-even scheme, after allegations of illegal sale of CNG stickers were levelled, we would stand day and night to keep a check,” he said. Sometimes, he hails an auto to check if they ply by meter.

Narela MLA Sharad Kumar, and Parliamentary Secretary to the Revenue Minister, looks into people’s grievances about land registration, acquisition and farmer’s compensation.

“There is huge corruption when it comes to property registration. We found that the patidars and tehsildars would take money to get work done,” said Mr Kumar.

When the Delhi government announced Rs. 50,000 per acre compensation for crop loss, he surveyed the entire agriculture belt to ensure that only genuine and deserving get the money.

For health, there are three Parliamentary Secretaries- Anil Kumar Bajpai, Rajesh Rishi and Rajesh Gupta- and they have divided hospitals among themselves. Anil Kumar, MLA from Gandhi Nagar, ensures that patients under EWS category are treated in private hospitals. “Many people don’t even know that they can avail EWS benefits so our job is to make people aware,” he said,

“I did my job honestly, but Modiji doesn’t want our government to do good work.”



Parliamentary Secretaries say they didn’t get any monetary benefits



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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 9:27:39 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/%E2%80%98We-are-the-eyes-and-ears-of-Ministers%E2%80%99/article14427170.ece

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