In the midst of mounting pressure on the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Delhi liquor policy case, AAP MLAs Atishi and Saurabh Bharadwaj were sworn in as Ministers in the Delhi cabinet on March 9. This follows the acceptance of the resignations of former Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Minister Satyendar Jain by President Droupadi Murmu on March 8. Both Sisodia and Jain are currently lodged in Tihar jail in connection with the Delhi excise policy case.
On March 7, President Murmu appointed Atishi and Bharadwaj as ministers in the Delhi cabinet on the advice of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal had forwarded their names to the Lieutenant Governor for their appointment to the Cabinet.
Atishi, who represents the Kalkaji constituency, has been a key member of Sisodia's education team. She had also contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from the East Delhi constituency but lost to BJP's Gautam Gambhir. Bhardwaj, the party's national spokesperson, had served in the Delhi Jal Board as its vice-chairman. He had also served as a minister during the first stint of the AAP government.
The Delhi council of ministers now has a strength of five, including CM Arvind Kejriwal, who doesn't hold any portfolios.
Sisodia had resigned from all 18 posts following his arrest in the alleged excise policy scam. The move to swear in new ministers comes at a time when the AAP is facing increasing pressure over the issue.
The appointment of Atishi and Bharadwaj as ministers in the Delhi cabinet is seen as an attempt by the AAP to revamp its image and regain lost ground. With the addition of two new ministers, the party hopes to make a fresh start and move forward with its policies and initiatives.
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