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What to Know About Newly Sworn-in Ministers in Arvind Kejriwal's Delhi Government

© AFP 2023 SAJJAD HUSSAINSupporters of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hold party flags and Indian national flags before Arvind Kejriwal swearing-in ceremony as Delhi Chief Minister, in New Delhi on February 16, 2020.
Supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hold party flags and Indian national flags before Arvind Kejriwal swearing-in ceremony as Delhi Chief Minister, in New Delhi on February 16, 2020. - Sputnik India, 1920, 09.03.2023
Two ministerial posts in the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government were left vacant after the arrest and resignation of ministers Satyendara Jain and Manish Sisodia.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) lawmakers Saurabh Bhardwaj and Atishi Marlena were sworn in as new ministers in the Arvind Kejrwal-led Cabinet on Thursday.
Bhardwaj, a lawmaker from Delhi's Greater Kailash area, will be in charge of the health, urban development, water, and industries portfolios, while Marlena, a lawmaker from the Kalkaji area, has been assigned the Education, Public Works, Power, and Tourism Departments.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia (C) arrives at the Central Bureau of investigation (CBI) office for questioning in connection with the alleged Delhi Excise Policy case in New Delhi on October 17, 2022.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 27.02.2023
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Who is Saurabh Bhardwaj?

Bhardwaj, 43, left a well-paying corporate job to enter politics. Once elected member of the Delhi assembly in 2013, he was made minister in the AAP-led Delhi government. But the government lasted for 49 days. At the time, he was in charge of several departments, including food and supply, transport, environment, and general administration.
He emerged as a prominent face of the AAP in 2017 after he demonstrated in the Delhi Assembly that electronic voting machines (EVM) could allegedly be hacked. The politician claimed that anyone knowing a “secret code” could tamper with the EVMs, as he used dummy machines for a "live demonstration." His claims, however, were rejected by the Election Commission of India.
The same year, he was appointed the chief spokesperson of the AAP’s Delhi unit and became part of several committees in the Delhi Assembly.
Last year, he was made the vice-chairman of the Delhi Jal Board, after AAP politician Raghav Chadha was nominated to the Rajya Sabha -- the upper house of the Indian Parliament.

Who is Atishi Marlena?

Atishi Marlena, 41, is a Rhodes scholar and Oxford graduate. She got in touch with several AAP politicians during the “India Against Corruption” movement in 2011, which led to the inception of the party.
Later, in 2015, she was appointed as advisor to former Delhi deputy state chief and ex-Education Minister Manish Sisodia. She is credited with playing an important role in Sisodia’s much-hailed education model in Delhi.
She is known for helping improve school infrastructure, initiating school management committees, and working on the “happiness curriculum.”
According to media reports, she has previously taught at the prestigious Rishi Valley School in Andhra Pradesh.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia speaks during a press conference in New Delhi on August 20, 2022, after the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had raided his home in relation to alleged irregularities with the implementation of the Excise Policy 2021-22.  - Sputnik India, 1920, 08.03.2023
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The AAP lawmaker dropped her last name ahead of the 2019 parliamentary polls. Her last name – Marlena – given by her parents is said to be a blend of the last names of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin. It is said that her parents were influenced by the ideology of the two revolutionaries.
Marlena contested in the 2019 parliamentary polls against the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Gautam Gambhir, but lost. In 2020, she won the Delhi Assembly elections from the Kalkaji constituency. The same year, she was appointed the in-charge of the AAP’s Goa unit for the state election.