NEW DELHI: With a flurry of corruption scandals rocking the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government and its ministers, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, who was operating without any ministerial portfolio, will be given cabinet responsibility. Strategists in the AAP have worked out a plan under which Kejriwal cannot work without responsibility, especially in the environment where several ministers are facing corruption charges. Kejriwal will share Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia’s work.
Delhi secretariat is nowadays busy discussing Kejriwal’s portfolio, expecting him to be ‘CM with portfolio’. Top officials and AAP MLAs claimed that Kejriwal will get some portfolio soon, especially in the wake of the AAP’s poor show in the MCD elections. At the dinner party hosted by Kejriwal last week, the issue was discussed. The final decision will be taken by senior leaders, mainly Sisodia and Kejriwal.
“After MCD poll debacle and the Kapil Mishra controversy, top leaders are coming back to basics. The party is also keen to remove tag of ‘CM without portfolio’ and we are expecting a decision soon,” an AAP MLA said. According to sources, more than 50 MLAs and their families had attended the party while senior leaders gave a miss.
“In the last one month, the Opposition has been continuously alleging that Kejriwal has no portfolio and is running from his duty. Mishra also raised questions over Kejriwal’s attendance. The CM is overseeing every ministry but is not directly involved. BJP and Congress have alleged that Kejriwal is the only CM in the country who has no portfolio,” a party source said.
According to AAP insiders, assigning portfolio to Kejriwal is a part of the party’s changed strategy to reunite with people in the ground. The party has started ‘Mera Booth Sabse Majboot’ campaign and has appointed 3,500 ‘Mandal Adhyaksh’ to regain public trust. “The AAP has decided that every single person associated with the party, whether it is the CM, other ministers, MLAs, councillors or party office-bearers, will have to take charge of organisation building in their own polling booth,” minister Gopal Rai said.