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It’s official: Manish Sisodia no 2 in Kejriwal cabinet

It’s official: Manish Sisodia no 2 in Kejriwal cabinet
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Aam Admi Party convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday unfurled his party’s national vision by designating his confidant Manish Sisodia as deputy chief minister. In his new cabinet Kejriwal has picked up four new faces besides retaining his former health minister Satyendra Kumar Jain.

“We hope to implement most of our poll promises within two years - before the announcement of assembly elections in Punjab. The creation of the position of deputy chief minister is aimed to give maximum time to Kejriwal to develop the party nationally and devote sufficient time to Punjab,” said a core committee member of AAP.

The new faces in the Kejriwal government will be Gopal Rai (39) who won from Babarpur in North East Delhi and Sandeep Kumar (34) from Sultanpur Majra (reserved) assembly segment of North West Delhi. Kumar is the youngest member in the new cabinet.

Besides two new faces from Chandni Chowk area - Asim Ahmed Khan (39) from Matia Mahal and Jitender Singh Tomar (48) from Tri Nagar find slots in the new cabinet.  Ram Niwas Goel from Shahdara assembly who is the senior most MLA, and BJP MLA between 1993-1998, will be new speaker in Delhi assembly and Bandana Kumari who was re-elected from Shalimar Bagh will be deputy speaker.

Rai, a post graduate in Sociology from Lucknow University and former left- wing student leader has been associated with Kejriwal since the Jan Lokpal movement and is a member of the party’s national executive committee . Asim Ahmed Khan is  a graduate of CCS University Meerut and engaged in real estate business while Tomar and Sandeep are both lawyers and contenders for the law department.

According to sources, Kejriwal like in his earlier stint is expected to keep finance, power, home, and some other important portfolios including Anti Corruption Bureau. Sisodia also is likely to retain his earlier portfolios like education, urban development, civic bodies and major projects of Swaraj and Jan Lokpal. Jain will retain health ministry as he has done a lot of work in this field said a senior AAP leader. The new government will not have a separate minister for women and child development as there is no woman member in the new cabinet. “It will be merged with the social welfare department and may go to Gopal Rai,” said the source.

The four former ministers who were dropped include - Law Minister Somnath Bharti, Transport Minister Saurabh Bhardwaj, Women and Child Development Minister Rakhi Birla and Labour Minister Girish Soni.

According to sources Bharti was dropped due to some cases and controversies while Bhardwaj was relieved due to his engagement in family and personal issues.
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