Arvind Kejriwal swears by aam aadmi

New Delhi, Dec 28 : Creating history and scripting a new political discourse for India mired by graft and show of pomp by leaders, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday took oath as the seventh and youngest chief minister of Delhi in the open Ramlila Maidan, promising a common people's government in true sense and pledging to root out corruption.

In his swearing-in speech, 45-year-old Arvind Kejriwal, who and his team came to take oath in metro trains shunning the trappings of VIP culture, said it is the people of Delhi who will run the government in the national capital now on.

Haryana born Kejriwal is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, where he studied Mechanical Engineering, but later worked for the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) as a Joint Commissioner in the Income Tax Department.

Social activism was his forte and he finally had teamed up with Anna Hazare to launch a crusade against graft in every level and the corrupt politicians.

While Arvind himself retains Power, Home, Finance, Planning and Vigilance ministries, Manish Sisodia is given Education and PWD Ministry along with Urban Development and Local Bodies and Land and Buildings departments. Former journalist Rakhi Birla, who is only 26 and became the youngest minister, now is in charge of the Women and Child Development along with Social Justice and Languages. Somnath Bharti gets Tourism, Law, Administrative reforms.

Satyendra Jain gets Health, Industries while Saurabh Bhardwaj is the new Delhi Food and Supplies, Transport minister. Girish Soni is the SC/ST, Labour, Development minister.

After addressing media and visiting Raj Ghat, which is a memorial to Mahatma Gandhi, Kejiwal and his cabinet met. The minority government of Kejriwal has been lent outside support by the Congress.

In his first address after taking oath as Delhi CM, he said: "It is people's government. People will run this government. We seven ministers won't run Delhi government, but 1.5 crore people would run it."

"It's not me and my ministers who have taken oath today, it is the people of Delhi who have taken oath," he said, adding: "It is the victory of the aam aadmi (common man)."

"We take this oath that in our life we will never offer and/or take bribe," said the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo. He said a phone number will be available soon to fight corruption and anyone demanding bribe should reported there.

He promised to solve all problems that the people of Delhi face every day.

"It is a miracle that we won the Delhi elections. We haven't come here to mint money, we left our jobs to reach this podium. We don't have a magic wand but will solve all issues," said Kejriwal.

He asked people's participation in fighting corruption.

"We fought this battle to give governance in the hands of the people of Delhi because we can't fight this alone, but 1.5 crore people of Delhi can fight corruption together," said Kejriwal.

"I am sure in the next five years, Delhi will become a 'sone ki chidiya' (golden bird)," he said.

"Anna (Hazare, Gandhian social activist) used to tell me politics is a 'keechad' (filth); I used to tell him we have to enter this 'keechad' to clean it," said Kejriwal.

Kejriwal took oath as the Delhi Chief Minister in presence of approximately 2 lakh people at Ramlila Maidan.

His Cabinet was also sworn in the same day.

He in his speech also reached out to his political rival the BJP. "Dr Harsh Vardhan is a good man, can't say the same about his party," he said referring to Vardhan, the chief ministerial candidate of BJP. Vardhan was present at the swearning-in.

BJP president Rajnath Singh congratulated Kejriwal and wished him luck.

Amid cheers and the crowd shouting 'Inquilab Zindabad', Kejriwal took oath.

Delhi Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung administered the oath of office and secrecy to Kejriwal.

Earlier in the day, Kejriwal and other AAP leaders took a metro from Barakhambha Road Metro Station to reach Ramlila Maidan.

He was garlanded at the metro station and given a hero's welcome.

Though he could not be present, social activist Anna Hazare also congratulated Arvind Kejriwal on his assumption as the Delhi Chief Minister and hoped that he would work well.

"We were together for several years. I hope he will work well," said Anna Hazare on Saturday.

After days of a stalemate in Delhi over government formation since no party got absolute majority, the AAP on Dec 23 said it will form the government with the support of the Congress party.

The just-over-a-year-old party led by Kejriwal emerged as the second biggest outfit with 28 seats, falling only a few seats short of the right wing BJP and allies who managed 32 seats.

The BJP is four short of a majority in the 70-member Delhi assembly. Congress managed only 8 seats.

--IBNS (Posted on 28-12-2013)

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