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Home South Asia AAP Says Arvind Kejriwal Will Remain Chief Minister. How Feasible Is That?

AAP Says Arvind Kejriwal Will Remain Chief Minister. How Feasible Is That?

New Delhi: Following the arrest of Arvind Kejriwal in connection with the Delhi liquor policy case, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has affirmed that he will continue to serve as the Chief Minister of Delhi, even from jail. Atishi, currently holding the position of his Deputy, emphasized, “Arvind Kejriwal is and will remain the Chief Minister of Delhi… there are no two ways about it.”

“We have been clear from the outset that he will discharge his duties from jail if necessary. There is no legal prohibition preventing him from doing so, considering he has not been convicted,” she added.

Kejriwal’s arrest marks a notable event, as he becomes the first sitting Chief Minister in recent times to face such circumstances. The prospect of him continuing to govern from jail raises concerns of a constitutional crisis. Comparisons are drawn to the case of Lalu Yadav, who, when arrested during his tenure as Chief Minister of Bihar in the fodder scam case, delegated his responsibilities to his wife, Rabri Devi.

Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren, arrested earlier this year in connection with an alleged land scam, relinquished his post after meeting the Governor.

Sources indicate that the Union Home Ministry is assessing the implications of Kejriwal’s decision not to resign. Legal experts suggest that the Centre may need to suspend or remove him from office, given his status as a public servant. This aligns with standard procedure for government officials facing arrest, who are typically suspended from duty immediately.

Authorities at Tihar jail, where Kejriwal may be held, state there is no precedent for a Chief Minister working from jail. “There is no provision for it in the jail manual, and all protocols will be followed accordingly,” a source remarked.

Kejriwal’s arrest came after he failed to appear for questioning for the ninth time, and the Delhi High Court denied him protection from arrest. His legal team has lodged an appeal in the Supreme Court, seeking an expedited hearing.

In a recent statement, the Enforcement Directorate has accused Kejriwal of conspiracy, alleging collusion with K Kavitha of Bharat Rashtra Samithi, AAP’s Sanjay Singh, and Manish Sisodia to amend the now-defunct liquor policy to benefit a cartel.

Sisodia, who is also incarcerated, saw his responsibilities divided among several newly appointed cabinet members following his arrest.

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