New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Varun Gandhi cleared the air over the Prime Minister’s office (PMO) remark regarding the increase in salaries of Parliamentarians and called it a ‘jest’ on the part of the latter. Referring to the remark he made in his speech at an event in Haryana.

Gandhi thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for creating an institutional mechanism in revising the salaries of the MPs while addressing the gathering. He lauded the PM for making sure that an institutional arrangement was in place to decide MPs salaries. “I then mentioned that to my surprise the PM took this issue up and made sure that an institutional arrangement was made which would now review and decide increments for legislators rather than the present ad-hoc arrangement. I thanked him for the same,” he said.

Gandhi had earlier said that when he raised objections about the increase in salaries of MPs, he got a call from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO), asking “why are you increasing our troubles?”

He had pointed out that in the last 10 years, MPs had increased their salaries seven times just by raising their hands. “When I raised this issue once, I received a call from the PMO,” he said. “Why are you increasing our troubles?” he was quoted as saying.