Saurabh Bharadwaj and Atishi to Replace Delhi Minister Shisodia

by flasharticle

After President Droupadi Murmu confirms Manish Sisodia’s and Satyendar Jain’s resignations, the Arvind Kejriwal cabinet may make the appointments.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has announced that Saurabh Bharadwaj and Atishi, two Delhi MPs and renowned AAP leaders, will replace Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain in the Delhi cabinet. Mr. Sisodia and Mr. Jain, both imprisoned in corruption charges, resigned as ministers Sunday night.

According to reports, Chief Minister and AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal has forwarded the requisite documentation to Lieutenant Governor VK Saxena to proceed with the appointments.

Chief Minister Kejriwal has scheduled a meeting of AAP MLAs and councilors for Thursday evening, during which the party will likely debate cabinet vacancies and other pressing issues.

Mr. Bharadwaj is the AAP’s chief spokesman, representing the Greater Kailash seat in south Delhi. He is also the vice-chairman of the Delhi Jal Board, which delivers water to the national capital. He served as a cabinet minister in the AAP administration during its 49-day existence in 2013-14, following which Mr. Kejriwal resigned, blaming himself for the inability to bring the anti-corruption Jan Lokpal Bill.

Ms. Atishi is a Kalkaji MLA who serves on the AAP’s political affairs committee.
In 2015 and 2017, she worked as an education advisor to Mr. Sisodia. She is a Rhodes scholar who has emerged as a key face of the party in recent years. AAP MP Sanjay Singh told NDTV that Chief Minister Kejriwal had picked Mr. Bharadwaj and Ms. Atishi for the top roles. “Both are eligible and capable of completing the job properly.”

“This is a difficult moment for us. Our two sincere and true ministers, who gave Delhi its health and education models, are now imprisoned. “He went on to say that work for the betterment of Delhi will not be jeopardized.

Last evening, Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Sisodia, who was in charge of up to 18 departments, and Health Minister Jain resigned.
The resignations came only hours after the Supreme Court denied Mr. Sisodia respite and directed him to appeal his detention in the liquor policy issue in Delhi High Court.

The BJP has questioned why the two ministers were still in the government after being arrested on corruption charges.

Yesterday’s AAP underlined that the resignations did not acknowledge guilt and termed it an “administrative measure.”

Delhi minister Raaj Kumar Anand is in charge of the AAP’s primary focus areas of education and health. Kailash Gahlot is in charge of the critical electricity and water supply departments. Mr. Sisodia, who was detained on Sunday on corruption charges in the liquor policy case, said he might be in jail for “7-8 months”.

“I am resigning until the claims against me are proven incorrect,” he said in his resignation letter.

“There are likely to be additional charges against me… God knows these claims are baseless,” he stated, emphasizing that he has been accused of corruption despite working honestly for the previous eight years.

The CBI has custody of the AAP’s Number Two, credited with renovating Delhi’s government schools. Mr. Jain has been imprisoned since his arrest in May for money laundering. He is now being held in judicial custody.

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