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'Best option is for no MP to occupy office of profit': Fernandes

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) NDA Convenor and former Defence Minister George Fernandes today said the best option before Parliament to define the office of profit, was to ensure that no Member of Parliament should occupy any office of profit.

In his letter to the Prime Minister, President of the Janata Dal (United), Mr Fernandes said let the offices of profit be occupied by those who are presently looking for employment and are capable of handling jobs designated as 'office of profit''.

He added that ''the MPs should devote time and energy to do jobs for which they were elected by the people. In this process there could be many job openings for those presently jobless'', he said.

Reacting to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's statement that all options were open for promulgating an ordinance on defining the offices of profit, the NDA leader said he was sure that Dr Singh would concur that there was no dearth of talent in the country and that the MPs will have to be attached to an office of profit, he said.

The former Defence Minister, in a separtate letter to Parliamentary Affairs Minister Priya Ranjan Dasmunsi, said that an office of profit does not stop merely by a legislation because it would still be an office of power and patronage, giving unfair advantage to some MPs and MLAs over others.

He added that the MPs and MLAs who are already entrusted with serious responsibilities of the people should not be required to face pressures of another public office. There was a large number of capable aspirants both inside and outside the political parties who have not contested or won elections, he said.

Any party should be happy to accomodate such people rather than tell its members that only a chosen few will deserve all laurels, opportunities and benefits, he said.

He further informed that he was expessing his opinion to Mr Dasmunsi because he had announced his intentions to confer with the political parties on the issue. ''My view may be a minority one but it should go on record and be discussed among the options available,'' he urged.


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