AAP’s Ashish Khetan given status ‘equivalent’ to Cabinet minister, made DDC vice-chairman


Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s confidante Ashish Khetan was on Friday given a status ‘at par’ with that of a Cabinet Minister after being made vice-chairman of the Delhi Dialogue Commission, which is a think-tank of the Aam Aadmi Party government with nine members in it.

“In order to facilitate him in discharging his functions as the vice-chairman of DDC on a full-time basis, Khetan will be entitled to receive reimbursements of travelling/boarding expenses and remuneration at par with the Ministers of GNCTD,” Arunoday Prakash, AAP’s media advisor said.

Khetan will reportedly also receive a government bungalow, car and a monthly salary of nearly Rs 1.25 lakh along with free electricity, telephone and internet. Khetan will also be able to maintain a 10 to 20-man staff at his camp and government office.

Interestingly, the announcement comes soon after Kejriwal in an interview indicated that he would be happy if dissident leaders Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav return to the AAP fold after being thrown out of the party’s decision-making bodies earlier this year.

“Agar aisa hua to bahut achcha hoga (If it happens, it will be very good). Their return will be good for the party,” Kejriwal had told a TV channel.

A bitter two-month long war of words had taken place between supporters of Kejriwal, himself and the Yadav and Bhushan camp after which the duo were removed for anti-party activities. During the war, Khetan had questioned the source of senior Supreme Court lawyer Bhushan’s Rs 500-crore wealth.