Option to join political party is open, says Kejriwal’s ex-aide

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s former Principal Secretary Rajendra Kumar on Thursday said that he had kept open the option of joining a political party including AAP to work for public welfare.

Kumar, who was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on corruption charges in July, said he would continue public service and joining politics was one of the available options.

“I have to find the best way to serve the people. And yes, politics is also an option,” Kumar told TV channel NDTV in an interview.

Asked further whether he would join Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Kumar said: “Yes, it could be AAP also.

To a query it was the comfort or the rapport he shares with Kejriwal that he would like to joing AAP, he said: “No, it’s not about comfort. It’s about which establishment, which path, which method would give me the best possible option for public service.”

A 1989-batch IAS officer of Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram and Union Territory cadre, Kumar was accused of abusing his official position in awarding Delhi government contracts worth Rs 9.5 crore to private firms during 2007-2014 when the Congress ruled Delhi.

Earlier this month, Kumar had alleged that the CBI was pressurizing him to implicate Kejriwal in the alleged wrongdoing he (Kumar) is accused of.

He had sought voluntary retirement after alleging harassment by the CBI.

The CBI had denied the allegations as “absolutely baseless”.

Kumar was arrested on July 4, 2016 and after remaining in custody for 23 days, was granted bail on July 26. He has consistently denied the accusations against him.

According to CBI officials, Kumar, as chairman of Delhi Transco Ltd, allegedly facilitated a contract worth Rs 40.16 lakh to Endeavour Systems to develop a comprehensive management information system in 2009 without going through any tendering process.

As Secretary in the health and family welfare department of the Delhi government, Kumar also allegedly awarded a Rs 2.43 crore manpower project to Endeavour Systems in November 2010.