With the arrest of Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia in the excise policy scam case, uncertainty looms over several critical Delhi government projects, including streetscaping and traffic decongestion plans, ahead of the G20 summit.
Mr Sisodia, who held 18 of the 33 Delhi government departments, was the administrative face of the AAP-led government and was also handling crucial departments like education, health, and PWD, among others.
Departments like health and home were handed over to him following his cabinet colleague Satyendar Jain’s arrest in an alleged money laundering case in May last year.
A special CBI court on Monday remanded Mr Sisodia to five-day custody of the central probe agency till March 4.
The CBI on Sunday evening arrested Mr Sisodia in connection with alleged corruption in the formulation and implementation of the now-scrapped liquor policy for 2021-22 under the streetscaping project, 16 stretches are being revamped and is aimed at decongesting, redesigning, and beautifying 540 km of roads across the national capital.
Nearly 1,300 kilometres of roads fall under the Public Works Department of the Delhi government.
The beautification of roads includes well-designed pedestrian-friendly footpaths, the development of green stretches through plantations, the creation of open-air sitting areas, cycle tracks, selfie points, and public facilities like water ATMs, toilets, and street furniture.
Mr Sisodia was keenly involved in checking the progress of the work under the project by holding regular meetings with officials and carrying out inspections.
His arrest will definitely hinder the progress, said party functionaries.
“It was estimated that more than Rs 1,000 crore will be spent by the Delhi government on events related to the G20 Summit.
“The deputy chief minister had been holding various meetings to review projects related to the G20 Summit and to expedite other ambitious works of the government, including making roads akin to European standards. These projects will of course be hindered,” said an AAP functionary.
Asked whether the party has thought of anyone to replace Sisodia, the functionary said it is ‘too early’ to think about it.
“Mr Sisodia will continue to be part of the cabinet like Mr Jain. His portfolio will be distributed among the existing ministers like Kailash Gahlot, Imran Hussain, and Gopal Rai.
“There is a possibility that Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal might assume charge of some key portfolios. But meetings will be held among the party’s top brass to decide the future course of action,” he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by String Reveals staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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