Published On: Wed, Oct 7th, 2015

Blast from the past: Rivals target Kejriwal over MLA pay hike using his earlier tweets

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No consensus amongst political parties on Lokpal in 44 years. If they have to increase their salaries, there is consensus in 5 min,” Arvind Kejriwal had tweeted in March 2012. He was then an activist fighting for a national anti-graft ombudsman called the Lokpal to be set up. As a salary hike is proposed for Delhi lawmakers that will benefit members of his Aam Aadmi Party most, Arvind Kejriwal is being reminded of this tweet from three years ago when he had questioned the politicians.

On Tuesday, an independent committee of experts set up to look into revision of salaries and allowances of Delhi legislators recommended a hefty hike from the current Rs 88,000 to Rs 2.10 lakh per month, including various allowances.

The three-member committee comprises former Lok Sabha secretary general P.D.T. Achary, journalist K.V. Prasad and Supreme Court advocate Balraj Malik.

“When the government receives the report, it will take a reasoned decision after carefully going through each recommendation and the reasons behind it. It will also look at which recommendations to accept and which to reject,” a Delhi government statement said on Tuesday.

Outside Kejriwal’s residence today, a large contingent of the Congress’ youth wing protested against the proposed salary hike. As a salary hike is proposed for Delhi lawmakers that will benefit members of his Aam Aadmi Party most, Arvind Kejriwal is being reminded of a tweet three years ago when he had taunted politicians.

AAP swept the Delhi elections in February this year, winning 67 of 70 seats. Now, his party’s legislators want a pay hike and a committee set up by the Delhi Assembly Speaker has recommended a 400 per cent raise.

If accepted, Delhi’s legislators will be the country’s highest paid, drawing a salary of Rs. 3.2 lakh plus various allowances. Approval needs to come from the very lawmakers who want the hike; they say they don’t earn enough to run their homes and offices.

Kejriwal, who is very active on Twitter and tweets many times in a day, is yet to comment on this development. But a senior member of his party, Ashutosh, tweeted late last night, “For an honest MLA of any party, it’s impossible to sustain family/run constituency office in meagre salary. Dishonest don’t need salary.”

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