Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung has asked Delhi’s Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia to return to the Capital immediately, official sources told PTI. Delhi has seen at least 15 deaths caused by an outbreak of vector-borne disease chikungunya. Sisodia, who is also the education minister, is in Finland on an official trip, while Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal is recovering from throat surgery in Bengaluru. This might be the first time a lieutenant governor has asked a minister to cut short a trip abroad, according to reports.
Besides Sisodia, the Education Secretary and other government officials were also instructed to return to Delhi as soon as possible. Sisodia on Friday denied being on vacation in Finland and said he had travelled to the European Union country to learn more about their education system. He said in a tweet, “To fix the problems of Delhi’s education system, I’ll do whatever is needed.”
The Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi has been criticised as several leaders have been travelling this week while the Capital grapples with a health crisis. Delhi tops the list of states with confirmed cases of chikungunya, with 1,057 people affected by the disease (up to September 11), according to information from the Union Health Ministry. Earlier in the week, Delhi’s Health Minister Satyendar Jain insisted that nobody could die from chikungunya. He said it was a fact and that it was “on Google”.