Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung on Friday asked Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, who is in Finland on an official tour, to return to Delhi, said officials in the LG’s office. Jung asked the minister to return in view of the chikungunya and dengue outbreak in the capital, said Raj Niwas officials. However, Delhi government officials said the Deputy CM’s office had not received any communication from the LG’s office.
Sisodia is on an official tour of Finland, along with representatives of Brazil, China and some Gulf Nations, to assess best practices in Finnish education.
Source said, besides Mr. Sisodia, who also hold the education portfolio, all officers including Education Secretary have been directed to return to Delhi immediately.
"The L-G has sent the summons himself directing the Minister to return to Delhi in light of the outbreak of vector-borne diseases in the NCT so that it may be tackled more effectively," said the source.
AAP leaders have been accused of first not doing enough to ensure that threats of epidemics from vector-borne diseases do not rise, and then shirking responsibility by either shifting the blame or being absent from Delhi. Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain recently said chikungunya cannot cause deaths. The statement has done the exact opposite of helping the party's image, which has already taken a hit from several of its leaders being accused in criminal cases.
Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is away in Bengaluru where he is receiving post-op care after a throat surgery while Labour Minister Gopal Rai is in Chhattisgarh for party work.
Earlier on Friday evening, Sisodia had come out all guns blazing on all those who have been ridiculing his foreign visit and said that it is not a "sin" to study the schooling system of other countries to fix the problems in Delhi's education system.
Taking a dig at all those who have accused him of enjoying a vacation abroad, Sisodia added, "It's a sin to defame an educational tour as a holiday".
"To fix the problems of Delhi's education system, I'll do whatever is needed. Whatever trolls may say," he tweeted.
Till early this week, Tourism Minister Kapil Mishra was the only member from Mr. Kejriwal's cabinet to be present in Delhi, before being joined by Health Minister Satyendra Jain, who was away in Goa for party work.
Congress activists observed 'Bhagoda Divas' in Delhi to protest against the alleged absence of the Chief Minister, his deputy and other ministers from the capital.