NEW DELHI: After a stunning victory in the Delhi polls, Chief Minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal will be spoilt for choice in picking his team. Kejriwal is planning to announce his six-member team before the swearing-in ceremony on February 14 at the Ram Lila ground, the same place where he took oath last year.
Among 66 MLAs apart from Kejriwal, the AAP chief’s close confidant and old lieutenant Manish Sisodia may be made the Deputy Chief Minister. During the 49-day rule with support of Congress, Sisodia was the de facto number two and had handled important portfolios like education, urban development, PWD, land and buildings. Sources also said that there was no woman face in Kejriwal’s team.
When asked about his potential appointment, Sisodia said, “There is a lot of brain-storming going on in the party. But it would not be right to talk about it until it is formally announced.” Sources said the decision to make Sisodia the Deputy CM was so that Kejriwal can focus on building the party at the national level and in States like Punjab, Haryana and Uttar and Pradesh.
According to sources, the PAC has also retained Satyendra Jain, two-time MLA from Shakur Basti. Jain was health minister in Kejriwal’s previous government and is expected to retain the same portfolio.
The PAC is learnt to have dropped two of the most controversial former ministers this time — Somnath Bharti and Rakhi Birla. Sources said that Sandeep Kumar will be given SC & ST, Employment, Development and Labour portfolios.AAP also decided Shahadra MLA Ram Niwas Goel will be the Speaker, while Bandana Kumari, from Shalimar Bagh will be the Deputy Speaker.