Manish Sisodia is an Indian politician and a former journalist. He is one of the co-founders of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). In 2015, he became a member of the Delhi Legislative Assembly. In 2015, he was appointed as the first Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi. In 2023, after his arrest in the Delhi liquor policy scam, he resigned from his position as a Cabinet Minister.
Manish Sisodia was born on Wednesday, 5 January 1972 (age 51 years; as of 2023) in Phagauta village, Hapur district, Uttar Pradesh, India. His zodiac sign is Capricorn. He studied at a government school in Phagauta village. In 1993, he completed a diploma in journalism at Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan in Delhi. In the same year, he received an award at Bhartiya Vidya Bhawan. After completing college, he began to work as a radio jockey at FM radio stations. In July 1996, he began to host many shows at All India Radio including the ‘Zero Hour’ show. From 1997 to 2005, he worked as a reporter, news producer and news reader for Zee News.
Height (approx.): 5′ 8″
Hair Colour: Salt & pepper (semi-bald)
Eye Colour: Black
Family & Caste
He belongs to a Hindu family of the Kshatriya (Rajput) caste in the Hapur district, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Parents & Siblings
His father, Dharampal Sisodia, was a public school teacher.
Wife & Children
On 31 October 1998, he got married to Seema Sisodia.
The couple has a son named Meer Sisodia, who is studying abroad.
Before entering politics, Manish Sisodia and Arvind Kejriwal were two of the leaders and founders of ‘Parivartan,’ a non-profit activism organisation. Later, he quit journalism, and in 2005, Manish and Arvind created another organisation, which was named ‘Kabir,’ which was a registered NGO. Reportedly, Manish was the main leader to run ‘Kabir.’ The main motive of the organisation was to take care of public cases with the help of government officials. Reportedly, he played a major role in drafting the Right to Information Act. In 2011, when Anna Hazare, an Indian social activist, sought a Jan Lokpal bill by leading the Indian anti-corruption movement, Manish was one of the prominent participants of the movement. He was one of the members of the group who drafted the proposed legislation’s first version. He was also sent to prison for taking part in the protests.
In November 2012, he, along with Arvind Kejriwal and some others, founded Aam Aadmi Party. Later, he was appointed as a member of AAP’s political affairs committee.
Member of the Legislative Assembly
In December 2013, he contested the Delhi Assembly elections, and after defeating Nakul Bhardwaj, a BJP candidate, by 11,476 votes, he was elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly from the Patparganj constituency in Delhi. In February 2015, after defeating Vinod Kumar Binny, a BJP candidate, in the Delhi Assembly elections, he was re-elected as a member of the Legislative Assembly from the Patparganj constituency. In 2020, after defeating Ravinder Singh Negi of the BJP, by more than 3000 votes, he won the Delhi Assembly elections for the third time and continued to be a member of the Legislative Assembly.
Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi
On 14 February 2015, he was appointed as the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi. In the same year, he was appointed as the Finance Minister of Delhi. During his tenure as the Deputy Chief Miniter of Delhi, he was held in charge of 18 departments of the Government of Delhi including finance, education, tourism, PWD, power, home, urban development, labour, employment, and public works department. On 16 February 2020, he was appointed as the Finance Minster of Delhi in the Third Kejriwal cabinet. On 28 February 2023, he resigned from his position in the Third Kejriwal Cabinet.
After he became the Finance Minister of Delhi, the first decision he made was to increase the funding of the public education program to double. Under the education program, the infrastructure of many schools in Delhi was reconstructed including the provision of modern tech-based teaching equipment, football fields, field hockey turfs, auditoriums, and science laboratories. For benefit of students, the Delhi government came up with mega PTMs (Parent Teacher Meetings), where parents and teachers could have meaningful conversations with each other in a healthy environment. Later, the government launched ‘Mission Buniyaad,’ a statewide program, which was created for making the fundamental learning of the students better.
Later, he launched ‘Business Blasters,’ which is considered one of the biggest entrepreneurship programs in the world made for students. The main goal of the program was to develop a business mindset through experimental learning including field projects, interviews, classroom activities, and live interaction with entrepreneurs. Every student who participated in the program received Rs 2000 as seed money. On 5 March 2022, the 126 finalists students of the ‘Business Blasters’ program’s first edition, showcased their businesses at the Business Blasters Expo 2022.
.@BB_official2021 succeeded beyond our wildest dreams!
51,000 biz ideas came from 3 lac students, of which 126 got investor funding
Delhi Govt is now supporting these young entrepreneurs to fulfill their vision with guaranteed admission to college & incubation for their startups pic.twitter.com/Sg1G0CZTJK
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) July 8, 2022
In 2017, he attended the Global Education conference in Moscow, where he showcased the Delhi Education model in front of educationists from 40 countries. In 2018, he visited Harvard Kennedy School in Massachusetts, United States, where he spoke about the education model of Delhi at the annual Harvard India Conference. In December 2021, he attended the 3-day RewirEd Summit held in Dubai, where he represented Mindset Curriculum (Happiness, Entrepreneurship, and Deshbhakti). He also discussed the Entrepreneurship Mindset Curriculum with the education ministers of Estonia, Italy, Bangladesh, and Saudi Arabia. In May 2022, he attended the Education World Forum 2022 held in London, where he discussed the education model of Delhi with 122 education ministers from different countries.
In August 2022, the New York Times praised his education policy. He made transformative changes in the field of higher and technical education by establishing three innovative Universities in the state – Delhi Skill and Entrepreneurship University (DSEU) in 2020, Delhi Sports University (DSU) in 2021, and Delhi Teachers University in 2022.
Manish Sisodia is also known for his economic reforms. Reportedly, while he was the Finance Minister of Delhi, he increased the budget from Rs 30, 940 crores in 2014-15 to Rs 75,800 crores in 2022-23 in a span of seven years. On 26 March 2022, he presented Rs 75,800 crore rupees annual budget for the year 2022-23.
- 2 charges related to Punishment for Defamation (IPC Section-500)
- 1 charge related to Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention (IPC Section-34)
- 1 charge related to Effect caused partly by act and partly by omission (IPC Section-36)
- 1 charge related to Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of an offence committed in prosecution of a common object (IPC Section-149)
Cases Where Convicted
- 1 charge related to Obstructing public servants in the discharge of public functions (IPC Section-186)
- 1 charge related to Assault or criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his duty (IPC Section-353)
- 1 charge related to Punishment for wrongful Confinement (IPC Section-342)
- 1 charge related to Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace (IPC Section-504)
- 1 charge related to Punishment of criminal conspiracy (IPC Section-120B)
- 1 charge related to Punishment of abetment if the act abetted is committed in consequence, and where no express provision is made for its punishment (IPC Section-109)
- 1 charge related to Abettor present when an offence is committed (IPC Section-114)
Threatened Vegetable Vendors
In 2016, the president of east Delhi’s Ghazipur vegetable market association, Surender Goswami, filed a complaint against Manish Sisodia in the Ghazipur police station for allegedly shouting at him and said that he behaved like a dictator with him and other vendors in the Ghazipur fruit and vegetable market. In an interview, while talking about the incident, Surender said that when he tried to talk about the bank loans taken up by the market traders, Manish began to shout at him and accused him of talking a lot. He also threatened Surender of cancelling his vegetable vendor license. He said,
I was telling him the difficulties a lot of traders were facing in repaying the loan when suddenly he started yelling at me. I tried to reason with him but he accused me of talking a lot. Then he threatened me that he will see me later and will cancel my license also. Being the deputy CM of Delhi, he is in a position of power. After today’s (Saturday) incident I am feeling concerned about what he might do to me. I request the police to please take note of the situation and take an action to resolve the issue.”
‘Talk to AK’
In January 2017, a preliminary enquiry (PE) was filed against him for alleged irregularities in the ‘Talk to AK’ campaign of the government of Delhi.
Alleged Corruption in School Construction
In June 2022, Delhi BJP leaders filed a complaint against Manish Sisodia in the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB) for allegedly involving corruption in the construction of schools and classrooms in Delhi. Delhi Lokayukta began to investigate the matter in July 2022.
Irregularities in Excise Policy 2021-22
On 8 July 2022, a report was submitted by the Chief Secretary of Delhi, Naresh Kumar, to the Lieutenant-Governor’s Office, in which he alleged that various irregularities were incurred while drafting the Excise policies to provide undue benefits to various license holders. Based on Naresh Kumar’s report, In July 2022, Vinai Kumar Saxena, Lieutenant Governor of Delhi, recommended the CBI to inspect the Delhi Government’s Excise Policy 2021-22. On 19 August 2022, CBI filed an FIR against Manish Sisodia and 15 others alleging irregularities in the Excise Policy 2021-22 of the Delhi Government, which reportedly caused more than Rs 150 crores loss to the exchequer. After his arrest, Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, accused the Central government of arresting Manish Sisodia through CBI.
Arrested in Liquor Scam
On 26 February 2023, Manish Sisodia was arrested by CBI for his alleged involvement in the liquor scam. In 2023, Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi, Raghav Chadha, spokesperson of AAP, and Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann visited Manish Sisodia’s home in Delhi to check up on his family members after the arrest of Manish Sisodia. In an interview, Arvind Kejriwal revealed that Manish Sisodia’s wife, Seema Sisodia, is suffering from multiple sclerosis, a chronic disease that affects the central nervous system, which includes the brain, spinal cord, and optic nerves. His son, Meer Sisodia, studies abroad. He also criticised the law and order of the country and said that honest men are arrested and no actions are taken against those people who are looting banks. He said,
Manish ji’s wife is suffering from a serious illness — multiple sclerosis. In this disease, the brain’s control over the body gradually decreases. Manishji’s son studies abroad. She is alone now. I told her that Manish ji is a brave person and every Indian is proud of Manishji. We are like a family and we will take care of her. Across the entire country, the respected and the honest are put behind the bars. And those who are looting the banks are the friends. No action is taken against them. They are not even served notice because they are friends.”
Awards, Honours, Achievements
- 2015: Ranked 90 on the List of most powerful Indians by The Indian Express
- 2016: Ranked 88 on the List of most powerful Indians by The Indian Express
- 2017: Won the Finest Education Minister Award
Honored to receive the special award ‘Finest Education Minister’
from @CitiznMukherjee (Hon’ble Ex-President Of India) on the special occasion of his 83rd birthday.
I wish many many happy returns of the day to him! pic.twitter.com/lFZ1xNqEwp
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) December 11, 2017
- 2017: Ranked 62 on the List of most powerful Indians by The Indian Express
- 2019: Won the Champions of Change Award for his exceptional work as the Education Minister of Delhi
- 2021: Honoured with the Mahatma Gandhi Award for his work in the field of education
- 2022: Ranked 36 on the List of most powerful Indians by The Indian Express
Assets & Properties
- Bank Deposits: Rs. 4,17,005
- Insurance Policies: Rs. 37,883
- Residential Buildings: Rs. 21,00,000
Note: The given estimates of movable and immovable assets are according to the year 2020. It excludes the assets owned by his wife and dependents (minor).
Manish Sisodia’s net worth for the financial year 2020 was estimated to be Rs. 25.7 lakhs. It excludes the net worth of his wife and dependents (minors).
- In an interview, Manish Sisodia and Seema Sisodia revealed that the first film that they watched together was the Hollywood film ‘Titanic’ (1997).
- He appeared in the Hindi socio-political documentary ‘An Insignificant man,’ which was based on the political journey of Arvind Kejriwal, the Chief Minister of Delhi. The documentary was released on 17 November 2017.
- On 9 September 2019, he released a book titled ‘Shiksha: My Experiments as an Education Minister’ in which he wrote about his experiences as the education minister of the Delhi government.
- He is often spotted consuming alcohol.