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Kejriwal Picks Atishi, Saurabh for Delhi Cabinet but No Dy CM Yet; CM Says AAP is a ‘Storm’

The arrest of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia by Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the alleged excise policy scam has been on the boil with the party being relentless in attacking BJP-led Centre over the issue.

In latest developments in the matter, after Delhi chief minster Arvind Kejriwal accepted the resignation of his trusted lieutenants Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain from the cabinet, departments held by Sisodia were handed over to ministers Kailash Gahlot and Raaj Kumar Anand on Tuesday. Gahlot and Anand will take care of the departments till new ministers are appointed in the Cabinet.

Meanwhile, Sources earlier on Wednesday said that Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has recommended the names of AAP MLAs Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj to the Lieutenant Governor for their appointment to the Cabinet. Kejriwal later in the day confirmed the same and asserted that Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj who will be inducted into his Cabinet will perform with double the speed.


Kejriwal’s Jibe at Saffron Party: ‘If Sisodia Joins BJP Today…’ 

Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal hit on Wednesday out at the BJP over Manish Sisodia’s arrest, asking “if Manish Sisodia joins BJP today, won’t he be released tomorrow?”

“If Sisodia and Jain join BJP today, they will walk out of jails and all cases will end. Their objective is to send CBI and ED behind opposition leaders and trouble them,” Kejriwal said after a meeting with AAP MLAs and councilors.

Kejriwal also launched a staunch defence of Sisodia and Jain, who led the Delhi government’s education and health ministries among several others.

Kejriwal alleged that Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain were arrested just to “sabotage the good work being done” in Delhi’s education and health sectors.

“The AAP is a storm. We will be unstoppable now and our time has come,” he sai.

“Two people who brought laurels to India have been jailed by PM Modi. Excise policy was an excuse… there was no scam. Sisodia was arrested as he did good work in education… Jain was arrested as he did good work in health,” Kejriwal added.

Will CM Kejriwal Appoint a New Deputy? Here’s What he Said

In an attempt to end speculation on appointing a deputy following the arrest and resignation of Manish Sisodia, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said on Wednesday, “We shall see if the need arises”.

Sisodia was arrested by the CBI on Sunday in connection with alleged irregularities in the formulation and implementation of the Delhi excise policy for 2021-22. Ever since Sisodia resigned, speculation have been rife about his possible replacement.

Asked whether there will be a deputy chief minister, CM Kejriwal said, “If the need arises, we shall see.” Sisodia was in charge of 18 out of 33 departments of the Delhi government, including health, finance, education and home.

Kejriwal Rejects Claims That Sisodia’s Arrest Behind Postponement Ashram Flyover Extension Opening

Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday said the much-awaited inauguration of the Ashram flyover extension is likely to be held next week, rejecting claims that Sisodia’s arrest was the reason behind the postponement of the inauguration

The flyover extension was scheduled to be inaugurated on February 28.

“It is likely to be inaugurated on Monday. The postponement was not due to Sisodia [arrest]. But a few works remain which would be completed soon,” he said.

A senior government official had earlier said the inauguration was postponed in light of Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s arrest.

“The flyover extension was supposed to be thrown open to the public on Tuesday and had got the date from the chief minister’s office. But in light of the recent developments, we will now have to seek a new date from his office. The work on the flyover extension has been completed,” an official had said.

AAP’s Atishi, Saurabh to be Elevated as Ministers

In a follow-up of the resignations by Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain from Delhi cabinet, sources on Wednesday said that CM Arvind Kejriwal has forwarded the names of AAP MLAs Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj to the Lieutenant Governor for their appointment to the Cabinet.

Kejriwal later confirmed the same and said, “We have changed our ministers. Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj are both excellent, professional, educated people and they will take care of portfolios and will do work at double the speed.”

On Tuesday, Kailash Gahlot and Raaj Kumar Anand of AAP were given the departments that were held by Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain till the appointment of new ministers.

Alumni of Delhi Govt Schools Visit Sisodia’s Residence, Extend Support to His Family

Alumni of various Delhi government schools on Wednesday visited the residence of former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and extended their support to his family.

The alumni also brought letters for Sisodia, who also held education portfolio, mentioning their personal experiences with him and the way he worked, and appealed to his wife Seema Sisodia to get them delivered to him.

Soni, who is now a first-year college student, said that Sisodia’s personal connection with a student studying in Delhi government schools gave them confidence to “rise above their struggles”, news agency PTI reported.

“There cannot be a replacement for Manish Sisodia. His personal connection with a student of Delhi government schools has given us the confidence to rise above our struggles and dream big. We will stand with him always,” she was quoted as saying.

Another alumnae, Sanjeeda, said that the Delhi’s education system changed their lives, adding that they have gained confidence from the education system of Delhi.

Manish Sisodia has changed our lives and we cannot believe that he can do anything wrong,” she said.

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