Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s cabinet of six ministers, sworn in Saturday, comprises of two former journalists, a legal campaigner, an architect, a software engineer and a social worker — all under 50 years age, the youngest cabinet that Delhi has had.
Arvind Kejriwal, 45: Activist-turned-politician is Delhi’s seventh and youngest chief minister. A graduate in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur, Kejriwal left his government job as an Indian Revenue Service officer to become an activist. A Magsaysay award winner for his campaign for transparent government and people’s right to information, Kejriwal shot into prominence after he joined Gandhian Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption crusade. He formed the Aam Admi Party (AAP) a year back. He is from Siwani village in Haryana’s Bhiwani district. He has kept the portfolios of home, finance, planning, power and vigilance with him.
Manish Sisodia, 41: Former journalist is Kejriwal’s right-hand man who came into prominence during the movement for the Jan Lokpal. Sisodia gave up his job with Zee TV to plunge into social activism and is the most prominent face of AAP after the chief minister. Born in a Rajput family in Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh, Sisodia is a workaholic. He will look after public works department and urban development, two areas rife with corruption, and higher education and local bodies.
Somnath Bharti, 39: A product of IIT, Delhi, he also has a law degree from Delhi University. Born in Bihar, Bharti was also president of the IIT-Delhi alumni association. Bharti has been in the forefront of taking up peoples’ issues with the government, including by filing public interest litigations. He has the portfolios of administrative reforms, law, tourism, art and culture.
Satyendra Jain, 49: An architect by profession, he used to work with the Central Public Works Department. He joined Hazare’s anti-corruption movement and later associated himself with Kejriwal with the aim of changing the system. He has portfolios of health, industry and gurudwara elections.
Rakhi Birla, 26: A former journalist, Birla is the youngest member in Kejriwal’s list. She holds a Masters degree in journalism from the National Broadcasting Academy in Sarojini Nagar in south Delhi. A Dalit, her mother is a sweeper in a government school where Birla studied till Class 12. She first joined Hazare’s anti-corruption movement and later associated with Kejriwal’s campaign. She has been given women and child development and languages portfolios and would also be in charge of taking special measures for the safety of women.
Girish Soni, 49: A businessman who owns a leather goods business in Madipur, studied up to Class 12 from the Senior Secondary School, Madipur, and has always resided in Delhi. He was unable to pursue his graduation due to poverty and opted for a diploma course in air conditioning and refrigeration from an Industrial Training Institute, Pusa Road. He has been associated with the party since India Against Corruption days. He has been given SC/ST, employment development and labour.
Saurabh Bhardwaj, 34: A computer engineer, Bhardwaj completed his B-Tech from Indraprastha University. He studied law from Osmania University. Was born and raised in Delhi and got drawn into the anti-corruption movement from the Anna Hazare days. He is to look after transport, food supplies and environment.
(Information taken from the AAP and Election Commission website)