Manish Sisodia is currently the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi—his third consecutive term in this post. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Friday, August 19, 2002, searched his residence in relation to allegations of irregularities in Delhi’s Excise Policy. Sisodia is alleged to have made changes to the excise policy without the approval of Delhi’s Lieutenant-Governor, such as allowing waivers of Rs. 144.36 crores on tendered license fees on account of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Sisodia, however, was in a defiant mood. “We welcome CBI. Will give full cooperation in the investigation so that the truth can come out soon. Till now, many cases have been filed against me, but nothing has come out. Nothing will come out of it either. My work for good education in the country cannot be stopped,” he said. “It is very unfortunate that those who do good work in our country are harassed like this. That is why our country has not yet become No 1.”

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Who is Manish Sisodia?

Manish Sisodia was born on January 5, 1972, in Hapur, Uttar Pradesh. He did a diploma in journalism from Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan in 1993, and worked as a radio jockey in the initial years of his career, hosting programs like ‘Zero Hour’ on All India Radio. He then proceeded to work for Zee News as a reporter, news producer, and newsreader between 1997 and 2005. 

It was around this time that he became associated with Arvind Kejriwal. Kejriwal, Sisodia, and a few other citizens of New Delhi founded the grassroots activism organisation Parivartan to fight against bribery that was rampant in the government structure from the bottom up. 

In 2011, he along with Kejriwal became one of the key participants in the Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption movement that fought for the Jan Lokpal Bill. He was subsequently jailed for his protests, and soon after found his way into politics. 

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This happened with the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of which he was one of the key founding members. Buoyed by the promise of a corruption-free government, the citizens took to this new political party immediately. Sisodia was elected as a Member of the Legislative Assembly in the Delhi Assembly Elections held in December 2013, with Patparganj of East Delhi being his constituency. He repeated the feat in February 2015, where he earned a landslide victory over the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Vinod Kumar Binny, by over 28,761 votes, as well as in 2020 where he won by 3,000 votes. 

Some of the notable departments he has held in the Government of Delhi are the finance department, the education department, and the tourism department.

His work in the field of education has drawn immense praise in the past. One of his first decisions as Delhi’s Finance Minister in 2015 was to double the funding for the public education system. Today, Delhi allocates a quarter of its budget to education—the highest proportion in the country. The push towards education has seen government schools in Delhi revamped with advanced and modern facilities and a focus on developing government teachers through training and workshops. In fact, since 2016 Delhi government schools have outperformed their private counterparts in the 12th standard board examinations. 

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In 2017 he was awarded the “Finest Education Minister” award, and in 2021 he received the Mahatma award, which is a global award to celebrate the work of social impact leaders and change-makers, for his work in promoting excellence in education.