Amar Singh denies holding an office of profit
New Delhi, Apr 1: Samajwadi Party (SP) General Secretary Amar Singh, who faces a possible disqualification from the Rajya Sabha for holding an office of profit, has sent a reply to the Election Commission, contending that his post as chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Development Council is not an office of profit.
''The Uttar Pradesh Development Council of which Mr Amar Singh is the chairman, is a society registered under the Societies Registration Act and is an autonomous society and as such it cannot be held as an office of profit,'' says the reply sent to the EC by Mr Singh's lawyer Pradeeep Kumar.
On March 10, the EC had issued a notice to the SP leader on a on a complaint forwarded by President APJ Abdul Kalam for disqualifying him from the Rajya Sabha.
The complaint said Mr Singh is holding an office of profit as Chairperson of the Uttar Pradesh Development Council (UPDC) other than his MP's post.
The SP General Secretary had earlier offered to resign in the wake of the ''office of profit'' controversy that led to the resignation of Congress President Sonia Gandhi from her Lok Sabha membership as well as chairperson of the National Advisory Council.
However, the SP has turned down his offer to resign While Samajwadi Party MP Jaya Bachchan was disqualified last month on the ground that she held an office of profit by being Chairperson of UP Film Development Council, the EC sent a notice to Mr Amar Singh on a similar petition against him.
Petitions have also been filed for disqualification of Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee (Chairman of Srinikatan- Shantinikatan Development Authority), Union Minister Subbirami Reddy (Chairman, Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams), VK Malhotra (former President of All India Council of Sports), senior Congress leader Karan Singh (ICCR) and nominated Rajya Sabha member Kapila Vatsyayan.
Dr Karan Singh and Ms Vatsyayan have since resigned from the Rajya Sabha.
In all about 62 MPs are said to be in various posts most of them Left party members in West Bengal, which the Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee has sought to exploit politically ahead of the assembly polls in the state.