New Delhi, February 16: Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal sworn in on Sunday as the Delhi Chief Minister for the third time. The oath to office was administered by Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal. Along with Kejriwal, all members of his erstwhile Cabinet - Manish Sisodia, Kailash Gehlot, Satyendra Jain, Rajendra Pal gautam, Imran Hussain and Gopal Rai - also took oath as ministers.
Kejriwal, 51, retained power in Delhi in the assembly elections held earlier this month. In a bitterly contested polls, the AAP ended up crushing the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress with a decisive mandate. In a near-repeat of its 2015 landslide performance, the AAP managed to win 62 out of 70 seats, whereas, the BJP was restricted to 8. The Congress failed to open its account. Called a 'Terrorist' by BJP, Arvind Kejriwal Retains Power, Silences Critics.
After taking oath, Kejriwal pitched a conciliatory note towards the Centre-ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. He sought the co-operation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to expedite the development of Delhi. "Elections are over. I have forgiven my political rivals for the remarks against me. Now, we all have to work together. I had invited PM Modi for the swearing-in ceremony, but he could not attend due to schedule constraints. I would appeal Modi ji and the central government to bless us in improving the lives of Delhiites," he said.
Kejriwal also expressed gratitude to the scores of people who had gathered at Ramlila Maidan to witness the swearing-in ceremony. "This is not just a victory for me. This is a victory for every student of Delhi, every mother of Delhi, every women of Delhi, every resident of Delhi. For the last five years, our only aim has been to bring happiness and relief in the lives of each and every household," he said.
"In the elections, some of the Delhi residents voted for the BJP. Some voted for the Congress. As a Chief Minister, I would not be discharging my duties only for those who voted for the AAP. My responsibility is towards each and every person part of the 2-crore population of Delhi. I will work for everyone, irrespective of whether you support the AAP or not," Kejriwal added.
Unlike Jharkhand, where the swearing-in ceremony turned into a show of national Opposition strength, Kejriwal decided not to invite the leaders of any other parties at the oath-taking event. Apart from the "people of Delhi", an invite was only issued to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the seven lawmakers and eight newly elected MLAs of the BJP in Delhi.
PM Modi, who embarked on a visit to his home-constituency Varanasi, did not attend the event. No other senior leader from the BJP was seen on the dias along with Kejriwal. The stage, in first-of-its-kind of sight, featured 50 members from various walks of life alongside Kejriwal. Described by the AAP as "Delhi ke nirmata", they included teachers, auto rickshaw drivers, bus conductors, social activists and doctors, among others.