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Speaker Ritu Khanduri Bhushan targeted over personal staff


By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 30 Sep: Speaker of the Uttarakhand Assembly, Ritu Khanduri Bhushan is now being targeted on social media as well as by some of the political leaders within and outside the BJP over appointment of her personal staff. It is being alleged that she has appointed some people not belonging to Uttarakhand as her personal staff. Interestingly, she has been targeted despite the fact that all those appointments are co-terminus with her term as Speaker or till she pleases to hire them.

Sources claimed that some of those who are targeting her are considered close to Cabinet Minister Prem Chand Aggarwal. It may be recalled that all the ad-hoc appointments made by Prem Chand Aggarwal when he was speaker, and made by his predecessor and senior Congress leader Govind Singh Kunjwal, have been terminated by current speaker Ritu Khanduri Bhushan. Not only this, Mukesh Singhal, who had been given three promotions within a period of 6 months by Aggarwal and appointed as assembly secretary has also been suspended by Bhushan.

A social media post by one Sumit Sethi, who has on his profile claimed to be social media in-charge of Cabinet Minister Prem Chand Aggarwal, has mentioned the names of the personal staff hired by Ritu Khanduri Bhushan. The post is sarcastic in nature and taunts Bhushan for appointing “outsiders” as her personal staff instead of hiring people from Uttarakhand. Sethi has written that, while on the one hand Speaker Ritu Khanduri had canceled 228 ad-hoc appointments of  people from Uttarakhand, on the other, she is appointing people from outside Uttarakhand as her staff and claims that this decision was against the people of Uttarakhand.

This post has further been picked up by social media activists and some Congress leaders to target Bhushan. In her clarification issued today, Bhushan has said that she is within her legal right to appoint people of her choice as her personal staff and there is nothing wrong with that. None of these appointments are either permanent or ad-hoc in nature but solely co-terminus with her term as Speaker. She also pointed out that many people from Uttarakhand are also serving outside the state as personal staff of ministers either at the Centre or in other states.