Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) legislators Atishi and Saurabh Bhardwaj were on Thursday inducted into the Delhi cabinet, with two senior leaders heading important ministries and slotting in the positions vacated by senior ministers Manish Sisodia and Satyendar Jain, both of whom resigned from his posts in the Council of Ministers last week.
A Delhi government official with knowledge of the matter said Atishi, the MLA from Kalkaji, will head six departments, including key education and public works ministries. Citing a proposal by the Delhi government, the official said Bhardwaj, his counterpart from Greater Kailash, would run seven departments, including health and water.
Lieutenant Governor (LG) VK Saxena administered the oath of office and secrecy to the two leaders at Raj Niwas on Thursday, attended by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, state ministers and Bharatiya Janata Party leader in the state assembly Ramvir Singh Bidhuri among others.
Delhi Chief Minister Kejriwal congratulated both the ministers while interacting with the media on Thursday. Later in a tweet, CM Kejriwal said that people have high expectations from the new ministers.
“You both have to take forward the good work of Manish ji and Satyendra ji. People have high expectations from both of you,” he tweeted.
Atishi (41) and Bhardwaj (43) were inducted into the cabinet eight days after the resignation of former deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia and Satendra Jain, both of whom were arrested and jailed for their alleged roles in separate cases.
Manish Sisodia, who holds key portfolios including finance, education, health and public works, was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on February 26 over alleged irregularities during the formulation and implementation of Delhi’s 2021-22 excise policy.
Rhodes Scholar Atishi has been associated with the AAP government’s education reforms and worked closely with Manish Sisodia as education minister. A first-time MLA and a member of AAP’s Political Affairs Committee, she unsuccessfully contested the 2019 general elections from East Delhi. He also has a master’s degree from the University of Oxford.