The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) detained Manish Sisodia, the deputy chief minister of Delhi, on Sunday in connection with the now-cancelled revised liquor excise scheme 2021–2022. His detention presents a number of difficulties for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) administration.
Sisodia has led as many as 18 of the 33 departments, serving as the face of the AAP’s educational agenda in Delhi.
Future budget for Delhi
Finding Sisodia’s replacement in order to present the Delhi government budget on time is Kejriwal’s current dilemma. In the first week of March, the state government is anticipated to present the budget. Sisodia has been delivering the state budget since 2014.
The budget for the upcoming fiscal year could be presented by Kailash Gahlot, the minister of revenue for Delhi.
“Gahlot has been going to budget-related meetings lately because there was a chance that the CBI may arrest the deputy chief minister. The budget for 2023–24 will likely be presented by Gahlot. It will be given the next month, “a representative of AAP told PTI.
The Delhi government comprises six cabinet members in addition to Kejriwal, including Satyendar Jain, who is currently serving as a minister without a portfolio despite being imprisoned.
Gopal Rai, the environment minister, is in control of just three departments, compared to Imran Hussain, who is in charge of just two—election and food and civil supplies.
Whereas Raj Kumar Anand has four ministries, Kailash Gahlot is in charge of six departments, including revenue and transportation.
Sisodia has the most portfolios, with 18. They include the home, finances, and education. The health and PWD departments were also entrusted to Sisodia following Satyendar Jain’s incarceration in June of last year.
Since the two of them collaborated at the NGO Parivartan, Sisodia has been Kejriwal’s close assistant. In order to avoid having to pay a bribe inside and to be able to claim that they were aware of the rules, Sisodia and Kejriwal frequently positioned themselves outside the Delhi Vidyut Board (electricity board) and assisted people in writing applications that were technically sound.
Sisodia has frequently proven to be a steadfast ally of Kejriwal. Sisodia’s support for Kejriwal was unwavering even after some of his closest friends abandoned him or voiced concerns about his “dictatorial tactics.” When senior politician Yogendra Yadav wrote a letter in June 2014 threatening to resign from the party’s political affairs committee and accusing Kejriwal of encouraging a personality cult, Kejriwal decided to downplay the situation.
Sisodia was the one who took up the sabre for him. In a letter that was almost as vehement, he charged Yadav with inciting party factionalism and having a vendetta against Kejriwal. Then, Yadav left the gathering.
“India’s best education minister,”
Sisodia has also been instrumental in drawing attention to Delhi’s educational policies on a global scale. Members of the AAP refer to him as India’s “best education minister” because of his initiatives to modernise public schools, educate teachers abroad, and embrace technology.
AAP’s national ambitions
AAP has relied heavily on Sisodia as a key campaigner. Delhi has now been governed by the party for more than 8 years. In Punjab, it has already taken office, and in Gujarat, it contested against the BJP.
Sisodia’s detention is also anticipated to affect Kejriwal’s morale at a time when AAP was preparing to give wings to its national ambitions and Kejriwal was due to embark on a tour across Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan next month.
Kejriwal claimed that his deputy was innocent and called the detention “dirty politics” on Sunday.
“Everyone is being observed. People will respond to this because they now comprehend everything. Our struggle will be strengthened by it and our spirits will soar “He stated in a Hindi tweet.