Manish Sisodia takes over as law minister, the third one for Delhi

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Deputy CM Manish Sisodia
Deputy CM Manish Sisodia

Deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia is the new law minister, the third one, for Delhi, so far. He took over from Kapil Mishra who vacated the chair for Sisodia barely two months after being appointed as the law minister.

The move comes three days after Mishra recommended an FIR against former chief minister Sheila Dikshit in a Delhi Jal Board (DJB) water tanker “scam”.

In the letter, Mishra spoke about attempts to “remove” him. He added, “I am afraid that after this expose , there will be attempts to destabilise our government, and to remove me from this chair.” He was not available for comments

Mishra was appointed minister for law, tourism, water, art and culture and Gurdwara elections in June, after his predecessor Jitender Singh Tomar resigned on charges of faking educational certificates.

Government officials said the decision was taken by Kejriwal. Sources said, Mishra, who is the minister in-charge for water, was required to focus only on issues of water supply in Delhi.

Meanwhile, cabinet minister Gopal Rai said, handing over the law portfolio to Sisodia was not a demotion for Mishra. Instead, the decision was taken to enable him to concentrate on resolving the capital’s water problems, which is one of the government’s targets,” said Rai.

While water is a big project for the Delhi government, the concerned minister will have to devote a lot of time and effort to it. The tourism department is also likely to undergo major changes in the months to come, said government sources.

The decision behind the move to relieve Mishra, sources said, a senior minister was required to handle the law portfolio as Mishra, he joined Delhi cabinet after Tomar’s exit, was still “very new”.

Sisodia will now hold the law portfolio along with important ministries such as education, finance, planning, information technology, and urban development among others.

Meanwhile, Delhi BJP president Satish Upadhyay termed the Cabinet reshuffle a political ploy. “With Mishra as its minister, the law department would have pressed for speedy approval. After his alliance with Bihar, Kejriwal cannot politically afford to have Dikshit arrested. Thus, the decision to suddenly shunt out Mishra.”

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