Manish Sisodia is a prominent Indian politician and journalist who is known for his contribution to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the government of Delhi. He has been an instrumental figure in the politics of Delhi, especially in the field of education and healthcare.
Sisodia served as the 1st Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi from 2015 to 2023. He resigned from his post after he was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on corruption charges related to a liquor scam. He was the third consecutive term MLA from the Patparganj constituency at the time of his resignation.
Early Life and Education
Manish Sisodia was born on 5 February 1972 in Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh. His father was a teacher in a government school, and his mother was a housewife. Sisodia spent most of his childhood in Rishikesh, where he completed his schooling from a government school. He was a bright student and showed a keen interest in politics from an early age. After completing his schooling, he moved to Delhi to pursue a degree in journalism.
Sisodia graduated from the Indian Institute of Mass Communication in Delhi in 1997. During his time at the institute, he became involved in student politics and actively participated in various social movements. He was deeply influenced by the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi and his philosophy of non-violence and social reform.
After completing his journalism degree, Sisodia started his career as a journalist with the Zee News Group. He worked as a news anchor and reporter for several years and covered various national and international events. He also worked as a freelance journalist for various publications, including the Indian Express and the Times of India.
During his time as a journalist, Sisodia became increasingly interested in the issues of corruption and governance. He realized that the media had an important role to play in exposing corruption and holding the government accountable. He also became involved in various social movements and worked closely with social activists like Anna Hazare.
In 2006, Sisodia became involved in Anna Hazare’s movement for the implementation of the Right to Information Act. He worked as a key organizer and helped mobilize people to support the movement. This experience inspired him to take up a career in politics and work towards bringing about meaningful change in society.
In 2012, Sisodia became one of the founding members of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The party was formed with the aim of fighting against corruption and bringing transparency in governance. Sisodia was appointed as the party’s spokesperson and played a key role in the party’s election campaign.
In the 2013 Delhi Legislative Assembly election, Sisodia contested from the Patparganj constituency and won by a margin of over 11,000 votes. The AAP won 28 seats in the election and formed the government with outside support from the Congress party. Sisodia was appointed as the Minister of Education, Tourism, and Urban Development in the first AAP government formed in December 2013.
As the Minister of Education, Sisodia was responsible for implementing several key initiatives, including the overhaul of the education system in Delhi. He introduced several innovative measures to improve the quality of education, such as the ‘happiness curriculum’ which aimed at promoting emotional well-being and mental health of students. He also launched a program called ‘Chunauti 2018’, which aimed at identifying and helping students who were struggling academically.
Sisodia also played a key role in the implementation of the odd-even road rationing scheme to combat air pollution in Delhi. The scheme was first introduced in January 2016 and required private vehicles to ply on alternate days based on their registration
Founding of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)
In 2012, Manish Sisodia was one of the founding members of the AAP. The party was launched in November 2012, with the aim of fighting corruption and promoting transparency in Indian politics.
Sisodia played an active role in the formation of the party and was instrumental in the drafting of the party’s manifesto. He also played a key role in the party’s election campaign for the Delhi Legislative Assembly election in 2013.
Election to the Delhi Legislative Assembly
In the 2013 Delhi Legislative Assembly election, Manish Sisodia contested from the Patparganj constituency in East Delhi. He won the election by a margin of over 11,000 votes, defeating the incumbent Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Nakul Bhardwaj.
Appointment as Minister in the Delhi Government
After the AAP won the 2013 Delhi Legislative Assembly election, Manish Sisodia was appointed as the Minister of Education, Tourism, and Urban Development in the first AAP government formed in December 2013.
During his tenure as Education Minister, Sisodia was responsible for several key initiatives, including the establishment of new schools, the introduction of vocational training courses, and the improvement of school infrastructure. He also oversaw the implementation of the Delhi government’s flagship education program, the “Chunauti” scheme, which aimed to improve the quality of education in Delhi’s government schools.
Re-election to the Delhi Legislative Assembly
In the 2015 Delhi Legislative Assembly election, Manish Sisodia was re-elected from the Patparganj constituency with a larger margin of over 28,000 votes. The AAP won a landslide victory in the election and formed the government again, with Sisodia being appointed as the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi.
As Deputy Chief Minister, Sisodia was responsible for several key initiatives, including the overhaul of the education system in Delhi, the establishment of mohalla clinics providing free primary healthcare, and the implementation of the odd-even road rationing scheme to combat air pollution.
During his tenure as Deputy Chief Minister, Sisodia played a key role in the development of Delhi’s education system. He oversaw the introduction of several new initiatives, including the “Happiness Curriculum” and the “Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum”, which aimed to provide a more holistic education to Delhi’s students.
Sisodia was also responsible for the establishment of mohalla clinics in Delhi. These clinics, which provide free primary healthcare to residents, have been hailed as a major success and have been replicated in several other Indian states.