With a thumping win in the Rajouri Garden bypoll, Manjinder Singh Sirsa has shown that he is more than just a ‘rich politician’.
A prominent Sikh leader from Delhi, Sirsa will be the richest MLA in Delhi Assembly with a total worth of over Rs 185 crore. So far, AAP’s legislator from RK Puram, Pramila Tokas (assets worth Rs 87 crore) was the richest, as per the data from poll affidavits analysed by ADR.
Sirsa, who claims to be an agriculturalist and businessman, also contested the 2015 assembly polls from Rajouri Garden. Back then too, he was the richest candidate in the fray with assets worth Rs 239 crore. Even though he got a healthy vote share of 38%, Sirsa lost to AAP’s Jarnail Singh.
A native of Sirsa, a town sharing border with Rajasthan and Punjab, he came to Delhi in 1991 when he took admission in BA (Honours) to study Punjabi in Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Khalsa College. He left college midway to start a real estate business.
He made his electoral debut in 2007 when he won the municipal election from Punjabi Bagh ward as the joint candidate of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). When Punjabi Bagh ward was reserved for women in 2012, his wife Satwinder Kaur Sirsa jumped into the fray as BJP-SAD combine nominee. Her victory margin was even better than her husband’s.
Since then his political stature has only risen. In 2013, he was elected to Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) from Punjabi Bagh ward, defeating one of the giants of the Sikh body -- Paramjit Singh Sarna. He served as the general secretary of the committee for four years in a row from 2013 to 2017.
In 2013, he contested his first assembly elections from Rajouri Garden and won with a comfortable margin of more than 10, 000 votes.
In March this year, Sirsa again defeated Sarna in DSGMC election to become the general secretary of the committee which manages 10 historical religious shrines in the national capital and a number of educational and medical institutions.
Sirsa, a close confidante of Sukhbir Singh Badal, former deputy chief minister of Punjab, had been accorded the status of a state minister following his appointment as political advisor to Badal in 2016.