INTERNATIONAL

Jindal faces recall petition

Bobby Jindal.

Bobby Jindal.   | Photo Credit: — Photo: AFP

Houston: A top contender for Republican vice-presidential ticket, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is facing an embarrassing “recall petition” over his refusal to veto a legislation that doubled legislators’ salary.

The petition was filed this week by Ryan Fournier, a former Jindal supporter who “feels that the Governor is going against all of the things that he said he stands for.” Mr. Fournier, a registered Republican, said he felt a responsibility to take action as he did not understand if Mr. Jindal is “against the raise, why won’t he veto it.”

However, forcing a recall election against Mr. Jindal would be a tough task as the process allows petitioner about 180 days to get the nearly 1 million signatures. Mr. Jindal, the 37-year-old who is the youngest governor to be elected to the post, said he knew the voters were angry. He said the petition shows how “democracy works” and that he has learnt his lesson.

Mr. Jindal acknowledged he made a mistake in letting the legislature control the session that ended this week, but still refused to veto the controversial pay raise. Legislators increased their yearly base pay from $16,800 to $37,500 during a recent legislative session, said the report.

Mr. Jindal said he won’t let his bills “be held hostage by giving legislature an excuse to stop them”. “The voters of our State are angry that the legislature more than doubled their own pay and I agree with them,” Mr. Jindal was quoted as saying by local media.

“It was excessive and they should reverse it. I’m sure more voters will take extraordinary steps to show their anger over the pay raise before this is all said and done — that’s how a democracy works,” he said.

Four legislators are also dealing with recall petitions including Rep. Jim Tucker, Speaker of the State House of Representatives.

Mr. Jindal is among frontrunners to be John McCain’s running mate in the November presidential election. Mr. Fournier said he would stop the recall if Mr. Jindal vetoes the pay-raise Bill before it becomes law July 8. — PTI

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