Home News Manish Sisodia Arrested: AAP Leader and Delhi Education Minister, Arrested on Unspecified...

Manish Sisodia Arrested: AAP Leader and Delhi Education Minister, Arrested on Unspecified Charges


Given his extensive involvement in both the Aam Aadmi Party and its Delhi administration, Manish Sisodia’s detention presents Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his party with an unheard-of dilemma. Sisodia has served as the face of the Delhi government’s educational strategy and is seen as the key to the AAP’s electoral aspirations.

Manish Sisodia Arrested

Yet his absence would have an immediate effect on the government, since he oversees 18 departments. Ironically, his portfolio was increased when his Cabinet colleague Satyendar Jain was detained in May of last year on suspicion of money laundering.

As Kejriwal’s dependable aide, Sisodia holds important portfolios. Before the two formed the administration, the two collaborated with the Organization Parivartan, where they addressed issues such the availability of rations, electricity costs, and the right to information. Many of these departments, including Education, Finance, Services, and Vigilance, are the target of the ongoing standoff with the Lieutenant-Governor. Sisodia also assumed control of the departments of Health, Public Works, and Home following Jain’s imprisonment.

The arrest also occurs a few weeks before the Delhi Government’s Budget Session, which Sisodia has been delivering ever since the AAP initially took office as the ruling party in 2014.

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Sisodia has gained not only national but also local recognition for his work in the Education portfolio. After his arrest, videos showing him interacting with students and hearing their thanks have circulated. Kejriwal and his party frequently refer to him as “India’s best education minister,” and the guarantee of improved public schools is a key tenet of the AAP’s political philosophy. This “Delhi model” is essentially Sisodia’s approach to education, which transcends boundaries and centres a campaign on a child’s future.

The difficult task of dispersing Sisodia’s work will be the first one the party faces, depending on how long he is detained. Although it boasts a number of well-known leaders, none has Kejriwal’s level of public recognition or trust.

When asked about his friendship with Kejriwal at The Indian Express Idea Exchange in December 2021, Sisodia responded, “We were friends before the party was formed. As a minister and a member of the party, I’m honoured to have his trust. You enjoy your job if your boss has confidence in you. When we were activists, we were friends. As a CM now, he is respected by me. Yet, we continue to share meals and time with our families.

The timing of Sisodia’s arrest is also critical from a political standpoint, since Kejriwal is preparing to reenter the electoral arena. The CM now wants to embark on a tour next month to boost AAP’s electoral prospects across four states: Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan. He has already formed the government in Punjab and defeated the BJP in Gujarat.

According to a party leader, Sisodia’s detention has an impact on morale as well as governance. Although while work has continued despite Jain’s eight-month incarceration, his absence is felt.

Even while party leaders have dismissed the accusations as untrue and made up, senior leaders acknowledge that the timing of the arrest—right before the party plans to run in the forthcoming Assembly elections—is worrying.

The BJP is aware of this, with one leader summarising Sisodia’s significance as follows: “Kejriwal is the public face, while Sisodia is the administrative face of the government. He once carried out unexpected raids on offices and departments and demanded that officers be punished. The party’s reputation was enhanced by these photos and videos.

“The current disclosures allow us to question the very anti-corruption credentials which the AAP used to come to office,” a different BJP senior remarked.

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