AAP has 8 women legislators but not a single one in Arvind Kejriwal’s cabinet
None of the eight women lawmakers of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made it to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s new cabinet on Sunday.
Six ministers - Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain, Gopal Rai, Kailash Gehlot, Imran Hussain, Rajendra Gautam and also took oath after Kejriwal at the Ramlila Grounds.
Atishi, Rakhi Birla, Raj Kumari Dhillon, Preeti Tomar, Dhanwati Chandela, Parmila Tokas, Bhavna Gaur and Bandana Kumari were among the AAP candidates who emerged victorious in the 2020 Assembly election where the party’s campaign sought to address many women’s issues including free bus rides and safety.
But none of them made it to the cabinet even as the AAP swept the elections winning 62 of the 70 Assembly seats. The AAP had fielded nine women in the elections. Sarita Singh from Rohtas Nagar was the only one who lost. In 2015, all six women candidates of AAP won the elections.
The most high-profile of the current winners is Atishi, who bagged the Kalkaji seat. She has been a key advisor to Sisodia on education policies that transformed Delhi’s public school education.
Rakhi Birla who retained the Mangolpuri seat with a thumping victory was also not included in the cabinet. In AAP’s first term from 2013 to 2014, she was briefly the minister for the department of women and child, social welfare and languages.
In his speech after taking oath, Kejriwal made no mention of inducting any women in his cabinet.
Ahead of Sunday’s swearing in ceremony, ANI quoted Sisodia as saying there was nothing wrong in repeating the same cabinet.
“There is nothing wrong if Arvind Kejriwal ji thinks that the same cabinet should be repeated. People are happy with the work of the cabinet and we won the elections on basis of our work,” Sisodia said.