Former prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh has written an angry letter to the Prime Minister’s Office and Home Minister Amit Shah after the centre followed the existing rules to turn down a request from former PM to retain his full 14-member staff.
According to the reports, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting him to allow him to retain his 14-member staff. As per the rules, former PMs receive rent-free accommodation for the rest of their life, medical facilities, 14 secretarial staff, six domestic executive-class air tickets, unlimited train travel, five years of office expenses along with SPG cover for one year and free electricity and water for life.
However, after five years, the Centre can reconsider whether it wants to give further re-extension to such allowances. Following the existing provisions, the NDA government had decided to reduce the size of personal staff support to 5 from 14. The five staffers include two personal assistants, one lower division clerk and two peons.
In a letter dated May 26, the PMO had informed Singh about the government’s decision to reduce the size of his staff.
Earlier, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh enjoyed full service of 14 staffs, which included officers of the level of director, under-secretary and deputy secretary, besides personal assistants and peons. It should be noted that the former PMs are entitled to full staff strength only for the first five years.
Interestingly, the Vajpayee government had permitted PV Narasimha Rao and Indra Kumar Gujral to expand their staff as per their need. The UPA government had returned the courtesy by allowing Atal Bihari Vajpayee to retain full staff which was later reduced to 12 after the late BJP leader expressed his willingness to cut down the staff size.