New Delhi, Dec 28 :
History was made Saturday when Arvind Kejriwal, 45, took oath as Delhi’s seventh chief minister at a public ceremony at the Ramlila Maidan watched by tens of thousands of excited supporters and on live television by people around the country.
It was the culmination of a momentous campaign for people’s rights that was mounted by Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) that was formed just a year ago and that rode to power in a major electoral upset this month.
Along with Kejirwal were sworn in six of his relatively youthful ministers by Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung amid a crescendo of cheers and claps from his white cap-waving sea of supporters and voters who reposed faith in him and his promises to “change the system”.
The 45-year-old Kejriwal’s AAP won 28 seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly after the Bharatiya Janata Party failed to form a government despite winning 31 seats as it lacked majority in the house.
The AAP has the legislative backing of the eight-member Congress, which was routed after ruling Delhi for 15 long years.
Kejriwal, 45, meanwhile boarded the Delhi Metro near his home in Kaushambi township adjoining the national capital along with his family and a large number of supporters.
“My brother’s will-power is very strong,” said his sister Ranjana Gupta, who also took the same Metro train after reaching Delhi with her doctor-husband from Haridwar.
“Just give him time… I am sure he will fulfil all the promises he has made,” she added.
Kejriwal declared Friday that he and his party colleagues will take the public transport Saturday as part of his commitment to do away with the “VIP culture”.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal said he will start working immediately after taking oath as Delhi’s chief minister Saturday, adding that he had Gandhian activist Anna Hazare’s “best wishes”.
Kejriwal told the media that he would go to the Delhi government’s secretariat shortly after being sworn in at the sprawling Ramlila Maidan here.
‘Have Anna’s blessings
He also told the media outside his residence at Kaushambi township near Delhi that he had received a message of greetings from Hazare, who Kejriwal regards as his guru.
Kejriwal said Hazare, who is based in Maharashtra, had extended his “best wishes” to the new Aam Aadmi Party government.
But Hazare, who had been invited to attend the ceremony, expressed his inability to do so due to ill health.