Dikshit Takes Over Delhi Mantle Again

New Delhi, Dec 15: | Updated: Dec 16 2003, 05:30am hrs
Sheila Dikshit, who led the Congress to its sole victory in the recent Assembly elections, was on Monday sworn-in as Delhis chief minster for a second consecutive term at the head of a six-member ministry that includes two new faces.

While Arvinder Singh Lovely and Mangat Ram Singhal are the new faces, AK Walia, Haroon Yusuf, Raj Kumar Chauhan and Yogendra Shastri have been reinducted into the ministry.

Lieutenant governor Vijai Kapoor administered the oath of office and secrecy to 65-year-old Ms Dikshit and the six ministers at an impressive function at Raj Niwas here.

Riding on the twin-plank of governance and development, Ms Dikshit became the first chief minister to get a second successive term to rule Delhi after it got the status of National Capital Territory in 1998.

A beaming Sheila Dikshit with her Cabinet colleagues after being sworn in as chief minister in New Delhi on Monday
Ajay Maken, who was widely acknowledged for his performance in the power and transport ministries during difficult times, is not in the new ministry. He is tipped to become the speaker of Assembly.

The Congress, which first wrested power in Delhi in 1998 ousting BJP, won the December 1 Assembly polls with two-third majority for the second time.

Considered close to the Gandhi family that helped her keep her opponents within the party at bay, Ms Dikshit single-handedly walked away with credit for an impressive show at the hustings.

While lovely fills the Sikh vacancy caused by former finance minister MS Saathis defeat in the polls, Mr Singhal represents the influential trading community.

Immediately after taking oath, the Cabinet met and decided to convene a four-day session of the new Assembly from Thursday to enable the new members to take oath and elect the next speaker. The new MLAs will take oath on Thursday.