Aam Aadmi Party has asked its party spokesperson Alka Lamba to step down from the post following her statement that Transport Minister Gopal Rai had been “relieved” of the portfolio to make way for a fair probe into the Premium Bus Service scheme, according to a report in the Indian Express.
Deviating the party line, the AAP leader had made the statement outside the Anti-Corruption Branch’s (ACB’s) office, where she had gone to extend support to Rai. The recently resigned-Transport Minister had gone to the agency in connection with the probe into the bus scheme.
Eariler, the AAP said Rai resigned from the post of Transport Minister citing health condition, Lamba said Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal wanted to ensure a fair probe into the alleged scam and he had asked Rai to step down.
AAP leader Gopal Rai said on Tuesday he had quit as Delhi’s Transport Minister on health grounds but denied it had anything to do with corruption charges hurled at him.
After the transport portfolio was handed over to Health Minister Satyendra Jain, Rai met officials of the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) and Lt. Governor Najeeb Jung who he said had no case against him.
“I have only given up the transport portfolio because it is a 24-hour job and gives too much strain which I am not able to take,” Rai told IANS.
“I have been telling (Chief Minister Arvind) Kejriwal for the past one week to relieve me of this portfolio,” the Aam Aadmi Party leader added.
“Transport portfolio is one portfolio which demands 24 hour attention that someone like me can’t provide any more.”
The minister said he would continue to retain the departments of Labour, Employment, Development, Irrigation and Flood Control that he described as relatively “light portfolios”.
Rai, who limps because of a gunshot injury he received as a student activist, said he was set to undergo three months of medical treatment at a hospital here for spine and heart related issues.
Rai had said on Monday that he was prepared to go to jail if charges of corruption in an app-based premium bus service scheme were proved. He also said he would meet ACB officials on Tuesday.