Capping a momentous journey, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday took oath as the eighth Chief Minister of Delhi, promising to make Delhi the first corruption-free state and act against communal elements.
Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung administered the oath of office and secrecy to Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia and five other ministers at the historic Ramlila Ground here, exactly a year after Kejriwal quit after a short 49-days regime.
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 leader 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.
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 on Friday 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.