New Delhi: Seeking to deflect criticism over the proposed hike in the salaries of Delhi MLAs, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said Prime Minister Narendra Modi should get a "salary hike" as well.
In a strident defence of the decision of his government, Kejriwal said even after the hike is effected, MLAs won't earn even "120th fraction" of what editors of media organisations and top TV anchors earn.
"How is Rs 1 lakh per month unreasonable? If the Prime Minister's salary is less than this, even his salary should be raised. We all demand that his salary should be hiked," he said while speaking in Delhi Assembly over Janlokpal.
However, in a tongue-in-cheek remark, Kejriwal envisaged an embarassing situation for Modi when he encounters US President Barack Obama. "Kal ko Obama miley toh kya bolenege...(if he meets Obama tomorrow, what will he say. It (PM's salary) should be at least 8-10 lakh."
Kejriwal said it was important to give legislators proper salaries and other facilities but "if they still indulge in corruption don't spare them."
Delhi Assembly had yesterday cleared a bill providing for hefty hike in salaries of MLAs and ministers. As per its provision, the basic salary of legislators will rise from current Rs 12,000 to Rs 50,000 and their overall monthly package will be around Rs 2.1 lakh as against Rs 88,000 at present.