Manish Sisodia-Satyendar-jain-resign-from Kejriwal cabinet
NEW DELHI : Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Minister Satyendar Jain, arrested on corruption allegations, resigned from the Arvind Kejriwal government on Tuesday. Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accepted their resignations, paving the way for a cabinet shuffle to bring in new ministers. The resignations were not an acceptance of guilt in any way, AAP asserted, describing it as an “administrative step”.
Kejriwal accepted the resignations of his two trusted aides, who were credited by the party as the key to education and health reforms in the capital, but decided not to induct fresh faces at the moment as it was too early to do so, sources said.
The announcement of resignations came soon after the Supreme Court refused to entertain a bail plea by Sisodia. The apex court said he could approach the Delhi High Court first. Nixing speculation that Kejriwal may take some of the key ministries under his belt, the Chief Minister assigned departments handled by Sisodia to Kailash Gahlot and Raj Kumar Anand. After his arrest in May last year, Jain’s departments were handled were handled by Sisodia. Kejriwal remains without portfolio.
Sisodia was arrested on Sunday over allegations of corruption in the Delhi liquor policy case. Before his arrest, he predicted that he would be in jail for “7-8 months”. The Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi had been in charge of 18 ministries, including the health portfolio of Satyendar Jain, who has been in jail for 10 months. The resignations came soon after the BJP questioned why the arrested ministers were still in the Delhi government.
There are now five ministers in the Delhi cabinet, including Mr Kejriwal. The Chief Minister had not kept any ministry, while the rest of the ministers were seen to be underutilized. Widely seen to be Arvind Kejriwal’s number two in the party and the government, Mr Sisodia had taken charge of a bulk of the ministries, leaving the AAP chief free to focus on the party’s campaign across the country. Mr Kejriwal had, till now, refused to remove the ministers.
When Satyendar Jain was arrested in May over allegations of money laundering, Mr Kejriwal simply transferred his departments to Mr Sisodia. But AAP sources said with Mr Sisodia’s arrest the Delhi government will need ministers to handle key portfolios like finance, health and education.
Mr Kejriwal may be forced to cut back on his trips to other states and take charge of some ministries. It is a huge setback for AAP as it preps for the 2024 national election. The Chief Minister had reportedly planned to visit states like Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh, where elections will be held later this year.
(Bureau Report with Media Inputs).