Tough times

Manish Sisodia, seen by many as the mainstay of Aam Aadmi Party’s government in Delhi and second-in-command of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, stepped down from his post today, saying he wishes to stay away till “the charges are proven false”. In a three-page resignation letter, Mr Sisodia said while there could be more cases against him, the allegations are false. “These allegations are nothing more than a conspiracy of cowards and weak people… Their target is not me, their target is Arvind Kejriwal,” he wrote.Sisodia’s resignation came less than 48 hours after his arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the alleged liquor scam in Delhi. The other arrested minister of AAP to step down with him was Satyendar Jain, who has been in jail for the last eight months on corruption charges.AAP said the resignations were not an acceptance of guilt but a means of facilitating administration. Party sources said there will be no addition to the cabinet till the Delhi budget is presented next month. Senior AAP leaders have suggested that the arrest of Sisodia and Jain was part of the BJP’s attempt to target the portfolios that showcase its governance model. Sisodia was the face of AAP’s overhaul of Delhi schools that has made headlines abroad.