A day after being voted to power in the 2020 Delhi Assembly election, first time MLAs Raghav Chadha and Atishi Marlena on Wednesday spoke to India Today TV in an exclusive interview on a range of issues and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government’s vision for the capital city.
The possible induction of the two young MLAs was a subject of much speculation.
However, AAP sources said that party chief Arvind Kejriwal is unlikely to tinker with the existing combination and is set to retain all the incumbent ministers.
The sources said the portfolios of the ministers will be decided later.
Responding to the speculation of not being inducted in the Delhi cabinet as the finance minister, AAP MLA from Rajinder Nagar Raghav Chadha said he doesn’t think about all these things and the decision lies with Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
“This is a prerogative of the honourable chief minister. I joined this party as an ordinary volunteer. I will forever be a foot soldier of the AAP. I will forever comply with the instructions of my leader, who I trust, who I believe in, who is my mentor in politics. And I’m very sure that Mr Kejriwal will choose a wonderful team,” Raghav Chadha said.
On being asked if he has ambitions of possibly becoming the youngest finance minster, Raghav answered saying, “I will forever be a foot soldier of the AAP, I don’t have any such aspirations.”
Meanwhile, another AAP heavyweight and MLA from Kalkaji, Atishi Marlena responded to the talk of not being a minister saying, “My ambition is that I want to see a difference in the city and in the country that we live in. I think AAP has been that one vehicle that has brought so much change into people’s lives. I would say my ambition has already been fulfilled.”
Next, when the two were asked if the AAP is only a party of Delhi and people are not accepting it as a national player, Atishi said that “an Indian voter votes very differently in a parliamentary election and in a state election. In parliamentary, they vote on national issues and in state, they vote on state issues.”
On why the AAP’s issues like bijli, paani, schools didn’t work eight months ago in 2019 Lok Sabha election but worked for them now, Atishi said, “When people are voting in the national election, they are looking at who can be the prime ministerial face. Rather than specific policies, people often repose their trust in a person.”
As to what the future holds for Delhi, Raghav said two things which will be highlights or “guarantees” of the Kerjiwal government 3.0 are water sewage system and public transport. He said these two are where a lot of work will be done in the next five years.
On whether pollution will become a political issue for the AAP government, Raghav said, “Pollution has a very prominent mention in our manifesto. We are going to do everything to deal with the pollution.” He added that however, pollution is not a Delhi issue but a North India issue and other states need to work in coordination with the Delhi government to defeat pollution.
Atishi answered on similar lines saying improving the quality of public transport and focusing on the pollution issue will be the key focus in the coming years.
You can watch the complete interview here: