Saurabh Bharadwaj, Atishi to become Delhi ministers in Kejriwal cabinet

| Updated: 01 March, 2023 1:21 pm IST

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj and senior leader Atishi will be inducted into the cabinet of Delhi soon, party sources said on Wednesday.

Bhardwaj is two times MLA from Greater Kailash and Atishi from Kalkaji. Two posts of cabinet ministers in Delhi fell vacant after Delhi Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and already jailed minister Satyendar Jain tendered their resignations on Tuesday.

Sisodia was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigations (CBI) for the alleged scam of Rs 1000 crore in the Delhi Excise Policy.

Sisodia was looking after 18 departments including education and health after Jain was arrested in a money laundering case by ED (enforcement directorate) in the month of May 2022.

Party sources said till the time, new ministers are appointed, the present minister Kailash Gahlot, who is the transport minister will also look after finance, planning, public works dept, power, home, UD, Irrigation, and flood control water. Another Delhi minister Raaj Kumar Anand, who is having social welfare justice department, will look after education,
Land and Building, Vigilance, Services, Tourism, Art, Culture and Language, Labour, Employment, Health, and Industries.

Incidentally, the resignations came soon after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) questioned why Sisodia and Jain were still in the Delhi government.

Sisodia and Jain have been arrested in separate cases related to corruption. If sentenced to two or more years in jail, both Sisodia and Jain may lose their seats. They could also be barred from contesting for six years.

With the Supreme Court refusing to entertain his bail plea on Tuesday, February 28, Sisodia hopes for an immediate reprieve as he was already remanded to CBI custody till March 4.

Apart from administrative challenges, Sisodia’s arrest will pose a big challenge to AAP’s expansion plans. He handled the bulk of work in Delhi which leave CM Kejriwal to focus entirely on the party’s expansion and campaign across the country.

While Sisodia also handled Jain’s portfolios following his arrest, sources said that CM Kejriwal might take up some ministries himself. With CM Kejriwal busy in Delhi, it could be a huge setback for AAP ahead of the 2024 general election – when it hoped to challenge the might of the BJP.


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