NEW DELHI: Delhi minister Gopal Rai has asked chief minister Arvind Kejriwal to relieve him of his duties as the transport minister on health grounds, sources said.
Rai, who also holds charge of the employment, development, labour, general administration and irrigation and flood control departments, recently underwent a surgery to get a bullet removed from his neck.
According to sources, Rai said that since the transport department had a very heavy workload, he would not be able to do justice to the work in his present condition.
Rai has been undergoing physiotherapy at the Indian Spinal Injuries Centre and is housed in the hospital.
The Aam Aadmi Party government’s push for public transport makes Rai one of the most important ministers.
The two phases of the odd-even road rationing scheme were spearheaded by Rai, who went around the city in a bus to assess the situation on the road. The transport department is involved in the implementation of the scheme on the ground.
The AAP government is looking at a major push in the public transport sector in the coming months and has promised a better DTC network, dedicated bus lanes and elevated roads as well as a bus aggregator application.
“Rai told the CM that he will need a few months to recuperate and that the transport department carries a very heavy workload. He requested that he be relieved of his duties as transport minister. His physiotherapy is expected to last three months,” sources said.
Rai under went surgery in early May to remove the bullet lodged deep in his neck 17 years ago when he was shot at in Lucknow University during a student agitation. He had suffered complete quadriplegia (neck down paralysis) for more than a year. After the surgery, he went to Hyderabad for upper limb rehabilitation.
Rai could not be reached for a reaction despite repeated attempts.