Aam Aadmi Party leader Manish Sisodia. (Photo Credit: PTI)
Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader and a close confidant of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia is among seven people who took oath on Sunday. Sisodia held portfolios of education, finance, revenue, higher education, training & technical education in the second term of the AAP government. Apart from being Kejriwal’s deputy, he handled the second most important departments. Sisodia has come a long way to emerge as a prominent figure in Delhi’s political scene.
Out of several portfolios under his belt, he was mainly recognised for his work as the education minister of Delhi. He has been credited with changing the face of Delhi’s government schools. From providing better infrastructure to improving the quality of education, he has done several things to make government schools better.
Sisodia, a key figure in Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's education and healthcare push in the national capital, was trailing after 10 rounds of counting. However, he won the Patparganj seat in East Delhi after a tough fight against BJP's Ravinder Singh Negi.
His victory has silenced those who questioned his decision to declare support for the Shaheen Bagh protesters in the face of a polarizing campaign by the BJP.
While he could not fulfill the promise of building 500 new schools due to land crunch, he went on to build over 8000 additional classrooms in 30 new schools.
An avid follower of Gandhian principles, Sisodia is seen as a shadow of Kejriwal by party leaders as the two leaders enjoy an excellent personal relationship.
Sisodia started his career as a journalist after attaining a diploma in journalism, but he was more attracted to social work. He first formed NGO Kabir and then Parivartan, along with Kejriwal.
He later quit journalism to participate in the agitation for Right To Information. Like Kejriwal, he too pitched in drafting the nuances of the Right to Information Act and was a prominent figure in the movement since the India Against Corruption (IAC) days.
He was one of the founding members of the Jan Lokpal agitation and part of the team which chalked out its first draft. When Anna Hazare was arrested and sent to jail during the agitation, he too was sent to prison.
When Kejriwal decided to form the Aam Aadmi Party, Sisodia stood with him like a rock. He is also one of the founder members of the party and a member of the all powerful Political Affairs Committee (PAC).
After the party came to power, Sisodia looked after Education, PWD, Urban Development and Local Bodies portfolios in the 49-day AAP government that had resigned on February 14 last year on the Lokpal issue.
A two-time legislator, Sisodia has won from Patparganj constituency defeating BJP’s Vinod Kumar Binny who was expelled from the party last year.