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Left MPs seek exemption in OoP controversy

The four parties also asked the government to set up an all-party committee and expand the ambit of the definition.

india Updated: May 09, 2006 15:59 IST

With a number of Left MPs including the Speaker facing petitions for disqualification, the Left parties on Tuesday asked the government to bring forward a legislation that will exempt various posts held by their MPs and MLAs from being considered an office of profit.

The four parties, at their meeting on Tuesday, also asked the government to set up an all-party committee and expand the ambit of the definition to include several offices which MPs and MLAs hold by virtue of being elected.

CPI General Secretary AB Bardhan told reporters after the meeting that government should bring in a legislation to amend the schedule which lists the offices that are not to be considered office of profit for the purpose of disqualification.

"This list may include such offices with retrospective effect", he said, adding that though it was the first item in the agenda of Parliament's reconvened session but "so far we have not received any draft from the government".

Maintaining that the government has not so far circulated any draft except for the "old" Prevention of Disqualification Act of 1959 and the list of such offices, he said nothing has been added to the list since 1989 when it was amended.

He gave examples of the Sunderban Development Board in West Bengal as well as University Senates and Syndicates and said MPs and MLAs held these offices "by virtue of their being elected".

Bardhan also sought creation of an all-party committee "to define precisely what constitutes an office of profit... If required, the Act should be amended. But the all-party committee should decide on this".

First Published: May 09, 2006 15:59 IST