In a first for the Capital, chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will not keep any portfolio and will instead oversee the work of his cabinet ministers and MLAs, besides being in direct contact with the public.
The announcement came as a surprise as Kejriwal was widely tipped to retain home, finance and power portfolios in line with his earlier stint as CM. The AAP leader said the move was not aimed at expanding the party beyond Delhi. “I’m not going anywhere and would focus on serving Delhi for the next five years,” Kejriwal said. He added that his government would bank on modern technology to ensure good governance and effect systematic changes in the administration.
In another first, his all-weather shadow Manish Sisodia became the deputy chief minister. He will look after urban development, education, finance, vigilance and revenue. Some of these portfolios were earlier held by Kejriwal. “The chief minister will get ministers and MLAs to work. Based on people’s feedback, he will find out lapses and ensure they are corrected and not repeated,” Sisodia said.
Satyendra Jain, who too was part of the 49-day Kejriwal government, would be the health minister and take charge of industries, irrigation and flood control and the public works department.
Gopal Rai, one of the four new faces in Kejriwal’s cabinet, will look after employment, development, labour and transport departments. Jitender Singh Tomar has been given home, law and justice, tourism, and art and culture. Asim Ahmad Khan was given food and supply, environment and forest and election portfolios. Sandeep Kumar will take charge of departments concerning women and children, social welfare, language, and Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe.
Senior IAS officer Rajendra Kumar will retain his post as principal secretary to the chief minister.
Shortly after taking oath at Ramlila Maidan, Kejriwal, along with his cabinet of six ministers, reached the Delhi secretariat and met officials and ministers at his office.