Almost half of the 67 Aam Aadmi Party legislators did not participate in the Delhi Cabinet’s interaction event on Sunday, with party volunteers and guests being made to occupy the seats reserved for the MLAs.
In one instance, when a caller narrated his problem, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal asked the MLA concerned to answer the question. The MLA, however, was not present.
“It was not a show of strength nor was it mandatory for MLAs to attend. The idea was to engage with the public,” said a spokesperson.
Government officials said formal invites were not sent out to the MLAs, but they were aware of the event and were expected to attend.
MLAs Adarsh Shastri and Jarnail Singh are in the UK for fundraising activities. Controversial MLA Somnath Bharti is in Pondicherry for party work. Gulab Singh is also not in town for the same reason.
“Another reason was that 20 MLAs were busy preparing for the inauguration of poly clinics in their constituencies which was scheduled for 3.30 pm,” the spokesperson added.
Among those who attended the event were Alka Lamba, Amanatullah Khan and Naresh Yadav. The three BJP MLAs in the 70-seat Delhi assembly were protesting outside with their partymen against the government. CIVIC POLL CAMPAIGN Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal did not miss a chance to campaign for his party for the 2017 Delhi municipal elections at the event.
When a caller expressed his dissatisfaction with the status of construction of the Sultanpur Bridge, the CM said the Municipal Corporation of Delhi was not under the government’s control.
He said his government could not do anything about it and asked the caller to vote for the AAP in the municipal polls to avoid facing such problems.