Delhi’s ‘working-class’ ministers

The Cabinet of the newly sworn in chief minister Arvind Kejriwal consists of six MLAs coming from all walks of life.
Manish Sisodia, 41, came to prominence during Anna Hazare’s movement for the Jan Lokpal Bill in 2011. He has been given charge of education, PWD, urban development, local bodies and land and building departments. The journalist-turned-activist-turned-politician defeated BJP’s Nakul Bhardwaj by over 11,000 votes from Patparganj constituency in east Delhi. He later quit journalism to participate in the agitation for Right To Information. He was one of the founding members of the Jan Lokpal agitation.
Coming from the high-end Greater Kailash constituency, an engineer by profession, Saurabh Bhardwaj (34) defeated the son of V.K. Malhotra, a veteran BJP leader, with a grave margin of more than 13,000 votes in the decisive South Delhi constituency. A rape incident of a poor girl in 2005 had urged Bhardwaj to fight for people’s justice, but he also figured that to provide justice in these matters, it was imperative to have legal knowledge. He studied law and regularly helps the poor in giving them all legal help possible.”
The woman face of the party, Rakhi Birla, emerged as a giant killer after thumping four-time MLA and PWD minister Raj Kumar Chauhan in Mangolpuri with a grand margin of 10,500 votes.
Prior to becoming an AAP candidate, Ms Birla worked with a private news channel, and worked effectively in collaboration with social organisations for the cause of the Valmiki community.
Girish Soni (49), contributed relentlessly to the Kejriwal led “Bijli-Pani” agitation. Owing to financial crises, Soni had to give up on his higher studies. The Madipur MLA had defeated BJP’s candidate Kailash Sankla by a little over 1,100 votes and made a stunning political debut.
A lawyer-turned activist with an IIT degree to boot, Somanth Bharti (39) breached a Congress bastion by nudging the three-time sitting MLA and high-profile former Delhi minister Kiran Walia from crucial Malviya Nagar constituency in South Delhi. After earning a Masters degree from the Indian Institute of Technology and a degree in law, Bharti pursued a legal career.
An architect by profession, Satyendra Kumar Jain had to quit his job with Central Public Works Department (CPWD) due to prevailing corruption in the department and turned to politics.
An MLA from Shakur Basti, 49-year-old Jain defeated BJP’s Shyam Lal Garg by a margin of 7,062 votes.
Jain has been allocated the Health and Industries Department in the Kejriwal-led Delhi government.
Jain had actively participated in the Anna Hazare’s Jan Lokpal movement where he came in touch with Arvind Kejriwal. Jain, a well known social worker, helped Chitrakoot based social organisation Drishti, working for visually impaired girls, with construction of the orgaisation’s building. He is also associated with social organisation Sparsh, which works
for mentally challenged children. He also organises mass marriages for poor girls. A native of Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh, Jain, who lives in Saraswati Vihar in a joint family, starts his day at 6.30 AM meeting people and listening to their problems.

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