Capping a momentous journey, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal today took oath as the eighth Chief Minister of Delhi, promising to make Delhi the first corruption-free state and act against communal elements – a clear signal that he was not done with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which he humiliated in the assembly elections, brand of politics.
Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung administered the oath of office and secrecy to Arvind Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and five other ministers at the historic Ramlila Maidan here, exactly an year after Kejriwal quit after a short 49-days regime – some 100,000 supporters were at hand to witness the event and cheer the ‘Common Man No. 1’.
Asim Ahmed Khan, Sandeep Kumar, Satyendar Jain, Gopal Rai and Jitender Singh Tomar also took oath of office and secrecy at the ceremony as a large crowd cheered.
Immediately, after taking oath, the 46-year-old Arvind Kejriwal addressed the gathering and unveiled the priorities of his government which included steps against corruption, communal elements, VIP culture and assured Delhiites that his government will fight for full statehood for the national capital.
Warning his party leaders and workers against arrogance, he said this was the reason for the defeat of Congress and the BJP, which had received huge majority in Lok Sabha polls just nine months ago.
Terming the verdict as ‘miracle of God’, Kejriwal said, “I knew people of Delhi love me, but didn’t know they love me so much.”
The AAP had won 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi decimating Congress and leaving only three seats for the BJP.
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Assuring people that his government will make Delhi “India’s first corruption-free state”, he said if somebody asks for bribe don’t refuse ‘setting ker lena’ (fix the deal) and video record it. Send the video footage to me. I will take action.”
Kejriwal, who shot into prominence during the agitation led by 75-year-old Anna Hazare in support of Jan Lokpal Bill in 2011, assured the people that his government will bring the bill soon. “Lokpal Bill is very important, it needs to be passed as soon as possible,” he said.
Reacting to recent attacks on churches and a Christian school yesterday in Delhi, he said, “In recent days, we witnessed several communal incidents in Delhi. We witnessed burning of churches. I want to warn the elements who are responsible for these incidents.”
“I want to make Delhi a place where people of all religions feel safe,” says Kejriwal, asserting that people of all religions, castes and classes voted for AAP.
Emphasising that he wants cooperation and good relations with the Centre, Kejriwal said BJP had promised to grant full statehood to Delhi.
“Before the elections, they had promised this to the people of Delhi. It’s not possible for the Centre to take care of important issues related with governance of the state, so I hope the Centre will fulfil their promise,” the Chief Minister said.
Cautioning his party, he said, “I can see arrogance in reports that AAP will fight elections in other states…We have to make sure that we don’t get carried away and become arrogant.”
Asserting that his government will not spare anyone, he said, “Some people might try to malign us by impersonating as AAP workers. I want to tell the law and order machinery not to spare anyone who indulges in unlawful activities.”
During his address, Kejriwal also mentioned his opponents in the Delhi polls- BJP’s Kiran Bedi and Congress’ Ajay Maken.
“I respect Kiran Bedi, she is like my elder sister. She has good experience in administration, I need her advice. I will cooperate with Ajay Maken too. I will involve everyone to make Delhi an ideal state,” the Chief Minister said.
Staring his address with “Bharat Mata ki Jai”, Kejriwal ended his nearly half-an-hour speech with singing AAP’s anthem ‘Insaan ka ho Insaan se Bhaichara’.
Arvind Kejriwal’s swearing-in ceremony at Delhi’s Ramlila Ground: Highlights
4.30 pm: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal will not keep any portfolios with him.
4.10 PM: Kejriwal has a meeting with all his ministers in his office and is believed to have discussed future strategy with them.
4.00 PM: After taking oath as chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal meets senior officials at the Delhi Secretariat and holds discussions with his ministerial colleagues.
1.30 PM: Arvind Kejriwal takes charge as the CM of Delhi
1.10 PM: Delhi cabinet greet the crowd at Ram Leela Maidaan after taking oath
1.05 PM: Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal ends speech with ‘Bharat Maaa Ki Jai’, Inquilab Jindabad’ and ‘Vande Mataram’.
1 PM: I wish Team India well: Kejriwal
1 PM: I am sure India will win the Cricket World Cup: Kejriwal
12.57 PM: Today I didn’t take oath as Delhi CM, you all have taken the oath… You all are the CMs of Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal
12. 55 PM: Kejriwal requests media people to not make fun of our intentions
12.55 PM: Time has come to grant full statehood to Delhi, says Kejriwal
12.52 PM: Traders will not be harassed, says Delhi CM
12.50 PM: Will end VIP culture in Delhi
12.46 PM: I have learnt one thing in 49 days, there is no dearth of money in Govt, there is lack of intention, says Arvind Kejriwal
12.45 PM: Will make Delhi 1st corruption-free city
12.45 PM: AAP govt will end end corruptions in Delhi, says Delhi CM
12.45 PM: God has a plan and we are only messengers, says Kejriwal
12.45 PM: We can’t afford to be arrogant, says Delhi CM
12.42 PM: We didn’t know Delhi loved AAP so much, says Kejriwal
12.40 PM: Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal addresses public, says Rich and poor, Hindus, Muslims and Christians voted for Aam Aadmi Party
12.35 pm: Jitender Tomar, AAP MLA from Trinagar, takes oath; Tomar has joined AAP from Congress in 2013
12.30 PM: Gopal Rai, AAP MLA from Babarpur, takes oath
12.28 PM: Satinder Jain, AAP MLA from Shakoor Basti, takes oath
12.24 PM: Sandeep Kumar, AAP MLA from Sultanpur, takes oath
12.22 PM: Asim Ahmed, AAP MLA from Mataia Mahal, takes oath
12.20 PM: Manish Sisodia, AAP MLA from Patparganj, takes oath
12.15 PM: Arvind Kejriwal takes oath as 8th CM of Delhi
12.10 PM: Swearing-in ceremony begins
12 noon: Around 1 lakh people seen congregating at the Ramlila Maidan for Kejriwal’s oath taking
11.50 am: Arvind Kejriwal accompanied by Manish Sisodia reaches Ramlila ground for the swearing-in ceremony
11.40 am: The swearing-in ceremony to be held on schedule at 12 noon
11.20 am: Arvind Kejriwal will sworn in as Delhi’s new chief minister along with six ministers. The Delhi Cabinet will have an average age less of than 40.
11.10: Tens of thousands of people gather at the Ramlila Maidan waving Indian national flags. Kejriwal has invited supporters to the oath-taking ceremony in his radio address on Friday
11.05 am: Arvind Kejriwal will not go to Rajghat after searing-in ceremony, as initially planned, as he is no well. Instead, he will go to Delhi Secretariat.
11.00 am: Kejriwal expected to leave his residence in Kaushambi by 11.10 am. He will travel to Ramlila Maidan by car and not take the Metro like he did last time
10.15 am: Arvind Kejriwal to chair the Delhi government’s first cabinet meeting at 4.30 pm.
10.05 am: Arvind Kejriwal will visit Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial at Rajghat after swearing-in. He will then head to the Delhi Secretariat to officially take charge
10.00 om: Aam Aadmi Party tweets: All set for the day at Ramlila ground
All set for the day at Ramlila ground. pic.twitter.com/l70vL8GYVx
— Aam Aadmi Party (@AamAadmiParty) February 14, 2015
9.30 am: Senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia tweets ahead of swearing-in ceremony:
काश आज मां और पिता जी भी यहीं साथ होते! मैं जानता हूं स्थूल रूप में नहीं पर सूक्ष्म रूप में आप मेरे साथ हैं। हर पल!
— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) February 14, 2015
9.15 am: Anticipating a large crowd, Delhi Traffic Police advised commuters to avoid routes leading to Ramlila Maidan where AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal will take oath as the eighth Chief Minister of Delhi.
9.10 am: AAP has invited PM Narendra Modi, members of the Union Cabinet and opposition leaders Ajay Maken and Kiran Bedi for the oath-taking ceremony.
9.00am: A jubilant AAP is also waiting for the day with bated breath, and are expecting a huge crowd, with supporters pouring in to the venue.
The stage is all set for the swearing in ceremony. Hope all of you will join us at Ramlila ground at 11am. pic.twitter.com/VawcKcLaHc
— Aam Aadmi Party (@AamAadmiParty) February 14, 2015
On Friday night, President Pranab Mukherjee had appointed Arvind Kejriwal as Delhi Chief Minister and six other party leaders as Cabinet ministers, four of whom are first time legislators, and signed an order to revoke Central rule from February 14.
A Home Ministry statement said President appointed Kejriwal as the Chief Minister of Delhi with effect from the date he is sworn in.
46-year-old Kejriwal, in a radio message, has already invited people of Delhi to his swearing in ceremony at the Ramlila ground — the protest venue of the anti-graft campaign over three years ago. In his first term as Delhi CM, Arvind Kejriwal had quit after 49 days in office.
After the swearing-in, Arvind Kejriwal will head towards the Delhi Secretariat to officially take charge.
Even before AAP took over the reins of Delhi, Chief Secretary D M Spolia has started acting on poll promises made by the nascent party and directed authorities to immediately prepare a foolproof plan to provide free Wi-Fi across the city and to construct 20 new colleges.
AAP had made a host of promises in its manifesto like 24X7 “affordable” power supply, free Wi-Fi across the city, installation of at least 10 lakh CCTV cameras for women security, making water a legal right and slashing VAT significantly.
A jubilant AAP had been also waiting for the day with bated breath, and are expecting a huge crowd, with supporters pouring in to the venue.
“Our estimate is about 1.5 lakh people. Last time, it was a little over a lakh, but since the victory is much bigger, more people will pour in this time,” an AAP official, who had come to the venue to assess the preparations, said.