Bhardwaj said that he will vacate the ministry when his predecessor Satyendar Jain is released from prison.
After taking charge as Delhi’s health minister, AAP leader Saurabh Bhardwaj invoked the story of Lord Ram and Lord Bharat to underscore that he will return the portfolio to his predecessor Satyendar Jain when he is released from jail.
Speaking to media persons, Bhardwaj hailed Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain – both in jail on corruption charges – as a staunch patriots who transformed Delhi’s public health and education sectors.
“I will work in the absence of Satyendar Jain Ji as Lord Bharat worked in place of Lord Ram during his 14-year-long vanvas (exile). I pray to God that he returns as soon as possible and takes back this duty,” the AAP leader said.
While Jain is accused of money laundering charges, Sisodia is currently in judicial custody for his role in the alleged corruption in the formation and implementation of the now-scrapped Delhi excise policy.
Both Jain and Sisodia resigned from their posts of health minister and education minister on March 1 following the latter’s arrest by the CBI in the Delhi liquor policy case.
“Since Independence, no minister in this country did the kind of job Manish Sisodia Ji did in the education sector and Satyendar Jain did in health. But the Central government has put them in jail under a conspiracy,” he said.
He also said that cleaning the Yamuna river will be the top priority of the AAP government in the coming days.
Talking about challenges as a minister, Bhardwaj said that the biggest challenge is the Centre’s interference in the Delhi government’s day-to-day affairs.
Jain was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a money-laundering case in May last year. He is accused of laundering money through four companies allegedly linked to him.
The agency earlier provisionally attached immovable properties worth ₹4.81 crores belonging to these companies. Properties belonging to some of his family members have been attached in the case arising out of a case of disproportionate assets.