Sisodia, Jain back in same saddle, Bharti ‘opted out’https://indianexpress.com/article/cities/delhi/sisodia-jain-back-in-same-saddle-bharti-opted-out/

Sisodia, Jain back in same saddle, Bharti ‘opted out’

Meanwhile, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal is likely to head the Finance and Power departments in the capital.

The secretariat gets a scrubbing on Friday, a day before the swearing-in. Ravi Kanojia
The secretariat gets a scrubbing on Friday, a day before the swearing-in ceremony. (Source: Express photo by Ravi Kanojia)

A day before the new AAP government is set to take charge in Delhi, party sources on Friday said MLAs Manish Sisodia and Satyendra Jain were likely to retain portfolios they held in the previous government.

Patparganj MLA Manish Sisodia, who will be appointed the Deputy Chief Minister, will also take charge of Public Works Department (PWD), Education and Urban Development. Similarly, Shakur Basti MLA Satyendra Jain is likely to be in charge of the Health and Industries.

Meanwhile, AAP chief and CM-designate Arvind Kejriwal is likely to head the Finance and Power departments in the capital.

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Among the new faces in the Delhi cabinet, Babarpur MLA Gopal Rai is likely to head the Transport and Labour departments. In the last AAP government, Greater Kailash MLA Saurabh Bhardwaj was the Transport minister and Madipur’s Girish Soni was the Labour minister.

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New Cabinet entrant, Asim Mohammad Khan from Matia Mahal, is likely to take charge of the Department of Food and Supplies, a department which was under Bhardwaj’s care earlier.

MLA Sandeep Kumar from Sultanpur Majra is expected to head the Department of Women and Child Welfare and the SC/ST department.

These departments were earlier handled by Mangolpuri MLA Rakhi Birla and Girish Soni, respectively.

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Tri Nagar MLA and advocate Jitendra Singh Tomar is likely to be Delhi’s new Law Minister. The position was held by Malviya Nagar MLA Somnath Bharti.

It is believed that Bharti’s and Birla’s names did not figure in the new Cabinet because of their alleged involvement in controversial incidents during their last tenure.

Bharti had come under attack from women’s rights organisation after he conducted a midnight raid in Khirki Extension in January last year to bust an alleged drug and prostitution racket. However, Bharti maintained that he had opted out of the Cabinet “willingly” since he wanted to focus on issues in his constituency. “Let me put all speculation to rest. I have willingly opted to not take responsibility in the govt and not because I possess any demerit,” he tweeted.

Confirming that he had been left out of the Cabinet, Bhardwaj said, “It is the prerogative of the chief minister. A few days back, the party had hinted that my name may not feature on the list. There are new people in the party and it wants to give them a chance.”