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Sushma Swaraj Opposes Lok Sabha Secretary General's Extension

PTI 30 Aug 2011, 22:19:47 IST

New Delhi, August 30:    Raising objections to the one-year extension in tenure to Lok Sabha secretary general T K Vishwanathan, leader of opposition Sushma Swaraj has said he was “not fit” for the post.
In a letter to Speaker Meira Kumar, Swaraj aired her objection, saying, “The conduct and behaviour of the present secretary general is not fit for the post.”
Swaraj gave two more reasons for her objection to the extension given to Vishwanathan, who is a former law secretary.
“You did not hold a formal meeting with the leader of opposition and leader of the House on extending the tenure of the present secretary general. Holding informal talks on this cannot be an alternative for a formal meeting. It is a must for the three to sit together before the decision,” Swaraj said.
Swaraj also feels that only an employee of the parliament secretariat should be appointed to the post.
When asked about Swaraj's letter, the Speaker told reporters, “it is unethical for me to comment on it”.
The differences between Kumar and Swaraj over Vishwanathan are not new with the latter objecting to his appointment 11 months ago. She has referred to this in her letter.
“You would remember that at the time of his appointment last year I had said that secretary general should be somebody from the Lok Sabha secretariat only. At that time you had said that no official from the LS secretariat is a deserving candidate for the post, so we can appoint the present secretary general for 11 months and will keep your suggestion in mind the next year,” Swaraj said.
The BJP leader maintained that due to this she had given her consent to Kumar's proposal.
In her letter, Swaraj states that there is a “regular cadre” of the Lok Sabha in which people have been working for decades with the hope that at some stage they will be promoted to the post of Lok Sabha secretary general.

“Bringing a retired official from outside and making him secretary general not only belies their claim but also lowers their morale and develops an atmosphere of frustration,” she said.
She concludes her letter with the words that it is for these reasons that she is expressing her dissent over the manner of this appointment and the decision taken. PTI