New Delhi: Delhi is paying the price for the aspirations of the ruling Aam Aadmi Party trying to win Punjab. Punjab goes to elections on February 4 and five of the six Cabinet Ministers of the AAP government are out of the city.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been in Punjab for most of January, while his deputy Manish Sisodia and other Ministers are also campaigning for the AAP in the State.
Health and Home Minister Satyendar Jain is out of the country to attend a health conference, said his office staff. Water and Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra was in the city on Monday, but was back in Punjab on Tuesday.
That leaves the Environment Minister Imran Hussain who is the only one remaining in the city. Many AAP MLAs are also campaigning in Punjab and Goa for the party in the upcoming elections.
Delhi government officials have been quoted by The Hindu as saying that the meetings are re-scheduled and work has come to a halt.
"The Ministers are away. We cannot say if governance is hit, but work has come to a halt as most of them are out. And the situation will continue till the elections are over. This week the 'government' is taking it easy," said an official, reports The Hindu.
Another official said that the governance in Delhi is affected for the past one month and the tussle between the Lieutenant-Governor and the CM proved to be a 'convenient' excuse and gave time to the Ministers to campaign in other States.
"Work isn't taking place. Only the education department has work. Setting up of mohalla clinics has also stopped as the former L-G Najeeb Jung raised objections. Overall, no work is taking place in the government," the official was quoted as saying.
The Opposition has also criticized he AAP government for leaving Delhi and campaigning in other States.
The Leader of the Opposition in the Delhi Assembly Vijender Gupta had said that while Delhi is in the midst of various "problems" related to school admission, public transport, pollution, hospitals and ration cards, the whole Cabinet was busy campaigning for elections.
With the Delhi civic polls slated in April this year, it is expected that the AAP will start campaigning across wards but the MLAs, accompanied by volunteers, are busy campaigning in Punjab.
The Aam Aadmi Party is yet to finalise its candidates for the civic polls while other parties have already started surveying and campaigning in the city.