Malhotra not holding any office of profit: BJP
New Delhi, Mar 27 (UNI) The Bharatiya Janata Party today said its senior leader V K Malhotra is not holding any office of profit and if he were, the same law should be applied for him as for those MPs holding such an office.
Talking to newspersons, BJP spokesman Prakash Javadekar said the party was not defending Mr Malhotra for being president of the Archery Association of India, but, as per their information, the post was not an office of profit.
The party would "not run away'' but officially respond to any notice issued to him either by the Election Commission or by the court in this regard, he said.
Party sources said the Law Ministry, through its letter, had given a clean chit to Mr Malhotra on the issue, saying the presidentship of the Archery Association of India did not fall under the domain of office of profit.
The party meanwhile maintained that the Election Commission must give its opinion on whether the chairmanship of the National Advisory Council (NAC) was an office of profit or not. Merely by resigning from the post, Congress President Sonia Gandhi could not absolve herself of the charge.
The EC was seized of the matter referred to it by President A P J Abdul Kalam and it must give its observations on all those people, including Ms Gandhi.
On the allegation that the Munda government in Jharkhand had got a legislation passed in the Assembly to redefine ''office of profit'' to save some of its legislators from disqualification, Mr Javadekar said there was no threat to the coalition government there. It had a clear majority.
The Jharkhand government had the right to amend the legislation which was applicable in undivided Bihar.
When asked why it had not thought so earlier, Mr Javadekar said the occasion had arisen now.
He also denied the charge that some Jharkhand MLAs had been forcefully taken to Rajasthan in order to save the government from falling. "They have gone there on vacation on their own," he said.
UNI KAS/MCN LR KN1826