With the Aam Aadmi Party getting an absolute majority in the Delhi assembly elections, attention has now turned to the composition of the Kejriwal cabinet. Senior leaders confirmed that Kejriwal would take oath, along with his cabinet, on February 14 at the Ramlila Maidan.
They added that while there were deliberations to be made during the selection of the six ministers apart from Kejriwal, the party intended to form a “predominantly technical expertise-driven” executive team.
Party leaders said Manish Sisodia, second in command in the last government, would again reprise that role. “Sisodia made up for a lot of deficiencies in several ministries in the last government, and he will certainly be minister again. It is most probable that he will be given the same ministries of education and urban development, where he had worked with great efficiency,” a senior leader said.
Sources in the AAP also said new Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri was very likely to be put in charge of a ministry with his experience at management positions as sales head of Apple India. “He is a credible, intellectual face and is in charge of delivering on our promise of WiFi across the city. The plans for that project have already been laid out and companies have already been spoken to. A bid process will most likely be followed,” a leader said.
Also in the race are former ministers Saurabh Bhardwaj and Satyendar Jain. While Bhardwaj was the transport minister in the Kejriwal cabinet, Jain was the health minister. Others who will be discussed include Kapil Mishra, a product of the Delhi School of Social Work and MLA from Karawal Nagar, and old party hand Gopal Rai, who won from the Babarpur constituency.
While some leaders suggested that the weight of the majority meant that Kejriwal would not need to stick to “political norms” by appointing a minority or woman face, they said Bandana Kumari, candidate from Shalimar Bagh and head of the party’s women’s wing would be discussed.
“The party could choose either a Sikh MLA or a Muslim MLA as well, but that is not certain. However, the leadership could take a call on a Sikh candidate with Punjab a big focus of the party,” a leader said.
Sources, however, said that Rakhi Birla, who was one of the party’s most prominent faces in the last government would not in all likelihood be given a ministry, nor will Madipur MLA Girish Soni.