New Delhi: Manish Sisodia, the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi, was attacked with ink on Monday when he was talking to reporters for the first time after returning from a much-talked about trip to Finland.
Mr Sisodia, who is facing criticism for his tour at a time Delhi is struggling with a spurt in dengue and chikungunya cases, was responding to questions on his meeting with Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung when he was attacked.
The ink-thrower was arrested. he was identified by the police as 35-year-old Brijesh Shukla, self-proclaimed founder of one Swaraj Janta Party. He shouted that he was an “angry citizen of Delhi” concerned that public money was being wasted on tours.
Mr Sisodia returned last night from his Finland tour, which became controversial after social media posts of his trip – including one of him having ice-cream on the roadside – led to a “summons” from the Lieutenant Governor.
Mr Jung asked Mr Sisodia to fly back home immediately and give him a report on the disease situation in the capital.
Mr Sisodia, who is in charge of several key ministries including finance, education and planning, is second-in-command to Arvind Kejriwal and takes charge in his absence.
The Chief Minister had also been out of the city because of a throat surgery in Bengaluru and returned yesterday.
Delhi Health Minister Satyendra Jain returned from Goa last week after an outcry over a government MIA during a health emergency.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Mr Sisodia, however, were unapologetic about his tour. Mr Sisodia said he had gone to study the education system of Finland and saw nothing wrong.
He told reporters today that he had shared with Mr Jung, during a half-hour meeting, how great was the education system in that country.
Mid-comment, he was startled by a splatter of ink that also fell on some reporters. He was seen dabbing at the stains on his shirt and arms ineffectively with a white handkerchief.
His tone turned angry. “AAP is committed to working for people in health and education. Congress is only working on ink….They are throwing ink on me…This is the dirty politics of Congress and BJP,” he spluttered before getting into his car.
Nearly 30 deaths in Delhi have been linked to dengue and chikungunya and over 2,800 people are reportedly infected. Mr Sisodia’s first stop today was Mr Kejriwal’s home.