Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday, addressed a press conference in New Delhi and accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of targeting him and his government, a couple of days after President Pranab Mukherjee refused to give assent to legislation aimed at letting 21 MLAs of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) continue as parliamentary secretaries despite rules saying they could be disqualified for holding an office of profit.
"When the BJP appoints parliamentary secretaries, it is legal, but when we appoint them, it is illegal," Kejriwal said at the press briefing.
Kejriwal cited the names of some former parliamentary secretaries while saying both the Congress and the BJP governments have, in the past, appointed them. "The BJP appointed a parliamentary secretary in 1997. Former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit of the Congress appointed Ajay Maken as parliamentary secretary. Why is it legal for them and illegal for us? These double standards will not work," he said.
Describing his 21 MLAs as "the eyes, ears, and hands" of the AAP, Kejriwal said: "We are running the government because of them. They are hardworking and qualified. They got schools and hospitals in every area of the city to find out what the requirements of the citizens are. They make sure teachers teach well in schools and the poor get proper treatment in hospitals."
Kejriwal also said: "We have been voted to serve the people of Delhi. Our MLAs work without remuneration. They are not given any benefits."
"I request Modiji with folded hands to not make the people of Delhi suffer. Aap mujhe maar lo, peet lo, par Delhi ki janta ko pareshaan mat karo... Aap ki ladai mujhse hai... [Hit me, beat me, but don't trouble the people of Delhi. Your battle is with me.] Take revenge on me but don't make the people of Delhi suffer," he said at the press meet.
Heaping praise upon the work done by his government, Kejriwal said: "Sabse accha kaam pure desh ke andar Delhi sarkar kar rahi hai... [The Delhi government is doingthe best work in the country.] The United Nations talks about us when we make solar policies. The odd-even formula was appreciated by everyone all over the world. The world is talking about us."