NEW DELHI—Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal took oath as the chief minister of Delhi for a third time at the Ramlila Maidan on Sunday noon.
“This is a win for every citizen of Delhi,” he said. “I am the Chief Minister of people who voted for Aam Aadmi Party, Congress, Bharatiya Janata Party and other parties as well. Election is over. I am the Chief Minister of all 2 crore people of Delhi.”
Referring to the Bharatiya Janata Party politicians calling him as “terrorist”, Kejriwal said, “We have pardoned the opposition parties for the name calling they indulged in against us. We want to work with all parties for the development of Delhi.”
Notably, he also stated that wants the “blessing” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government for the development of Delhi. He mentioned that Modi was invited for the swearing in and made it clear that he wants to take a clean break from the past where his relations with the centre were marked by severe acrimony.
The third time Delhi Chief Minister said the election result had inaugurated a “new politics of work” in which carrying out development activities like building schools, hospitals, among other things, would win elections and popular support from voters.
What differentiated this oath taking ceremony from the last one in 2015 was the presence of a bunch of “ordinary” citizens of the national capital on one side of the stage in a special sitting area who Kejriwal referred to as the “makers of Delhi”. These people included a woman metro driver, a teacher and similar people who contribute in their small but significant way to Delhi.
He also noted criticism that “Kejriwal is making everything free” and said it would be a shame if he sought fees from school kids and patients in government hospitals.
Besides Kejriwal, other AAP leaders including Manish Sisodia, Gopal Rai, Satyendar Jain, Kailash Gahlot, Imran Hussain and Rajendra Pal Gautam also took oath. It appears that their portfolios will remain unchanged as Kejriwal seeks to maintain continuity of his government’s agenda.
The AAP won 62 seats in the recently concluded assembly election and the BJP eight.