Arvind Kejriwal has given an explanation for his decision to not keep any portfolio under him during his third term as the chief minister of Delhi.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief had allocated the portfolios on Monday, a day after Kejriwal and six of ministers had taken the oath of office.
Kejriwal had made minor changes in the portfolios of his cabinet ministers by reassigning the key water and environment departments, which will work on two key pre-poll promises of the AAP — clean, regular water supply and curbing air pollution in the national capital.
The chief minister had held the water department during his last term.
“Residents of Delhi are my first priority. The people of Delhi have given me a major responsibility. My first responsibility is to ensure all guarantees and assurances are fulfilled and potential hurdles in their implementation are removed,” Kejriwal said in response to a media query about him not keeping any portfolio.
“I feel the duty of a chief minister is to keep an eye on other ministers… I believe that I must look at the broader vision rather than being stuck in the nitty-gritty of a particular department,” Kejriwal said after meeting Union home minister Amit Shah.
In Kejriwal’s latest cabinet, Satyendar Jain will administer the water department and Gopal Rai will be the environment minister. Kailash Gahlot was the environment minister in the last cabinet.
Rajendra Pal Gautam was given the women and child development department. All other departments and portfolios will continue to be with the same ministers as they were in the last government.
Arvind Kejriwal on Wednesday directed officers heading government departments that concern implementation of assurances in the AAP’s “guarantee card” to submit reports within seven days, elaborating on deadlines, budgets and modalities.
The AAP had promised its power and water subsidies and existing schemes on CCTV surveillance and bus marshals would continue if it was re-elected in its guarantee card, released on January 19 during its campaign for the February 8 assembly elections.