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Gopal Rai is a member of the political affairs committee of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and a Cabinet minister in the Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government. He is the minister for employment, development, labour, general administration and irrigation. Rai is also the Convener of the Delhi state unit of the AAAP, and a member of the party’s national executive.
Gopal Rai holds a postgraduate degree in Sociology from the Lucknow University. He was part of a number of campaigns against crime and corruption on college campuses as a student leader in Lucknow. Rai was once shot in the arm and suffered injuries during a campaign and was partially paralysed.
In 1992, Rai started his career with the All India Students Association, the student wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) Liberation, in the Lucknow University. In the 2015 Delhi polls, contesting on an AAP ticket, Rai was elected as an MLA from the Babarpur constituency. He defeated his nearest rival, Naresh Gaur of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) by 35,271 votes. He polled 76,179 votes, or 59.14 per cent of all votes cast in the Babarpur constituency.
Earlier, in the 2013 Delhi election, Rai had lost from the same constituency by 25,723 votes.
Gopal Rai’s ministry is credited with the decision to raise minimum wages in Delhi.