NEW DELHI (TIP): Manish Sisodia is all set to be the deputy chief minister in Arvind Kejriwal government which is likely to have four new faces this time, Aam Aadmi Party sources said.
Barring Sisodia, who is a close confidant of Kejriwal, and Satyendra Jain, the rest four- Rakhi Birla, Saurabh Bharadwaj, Somnath Bharti, Girish Soni— who were in AAP’s earlier cabinet —are unlikely to make it this time.
The sources said the party has decided to induct Jitendra Tomar (Tri Nagar), Kapil Mishra (Karawal Nagar), Sandeep Kumar (Sultanpuri Majra) and Asim Ahmed Khan (Matia Mahal)- the only minority face- in the ministry. The four are also first time legislators. The new government may not have a woman member.
The list will be sent to Lt Governor Najeeb Jung today, they added. The new Cabinet will be sworn in on Saturday.
Sisodia was de facto number two in the previous AAP government and had handled important portfolios like education, urban development, PWD, land and buildings.
Jain, a two-time MLA from Shakur Basti who handled the health portfolio in the previous AAP government, is another minister who is likely to be retained.
“There is a lot of brain storming going on in the party. But it would not be right to talk about it until it is formally announced,” Sisodia told reporters, when asked about his appointment as the Deputy CM. According to sources, the decision to make Sisodia the Deputy CM was taken at a meeting of AAP’s Political Affairs Committee (PAC) last night at Kejriwal’s residence in Kaushambhi.
Sisodia is being given the responsibility so that Chief Minister-designate Kejriwal can focus on building the party at the national level, they said.
It was also decided that Shahdra MLA Ramniwas Goel will be the Speaker while Bandana Kumari, from Shalimar Bag constituency, will be Deputy Speaker in the Delhi Legislative Assembly. The latter is also heading AAP’s women wing.