For the first time in the history of India a common named Arvind Kejriwal 45, was sworn-in today, as the chief minister of Delhi. The ceremony took place at the sprawling Ramlila Maidan( ground). A symbolic gesture because here the anti-corruption movement began. Another reason for holding the ceremony here was that common men could attend the ceremony.
After the swearing-in ceremony, Kejriwal delivered a heart-felt speech. Kejriwal said that today not only six members of Delhi parliament but instead all the common men of Delhi have become ministers. He said that as promised in the elections his party will fight and root out corruption from Delhi politics. He also heralded the end of VIP culture. Kejriwal took a metro to the venue. He said that from today onwards ministers would not use PSO vehicles with the red beacon nor would they be provided extra security. Kejriwal has also refused to occupy the official bungalow of the chief minister and is to occupy a five-room flat of Indraprastha Power Generation Co. Ltd., (IPGCL). He also stressed in his speech that there would be no witch hunt but he cautioned the bureaucracy to work with integrity, transparency and honesty.
After Kejriwal was sworn-in as the chief minister of Delhi, he inducted a techie, a journalist and an engineer in his six member strong cabinet. Kejriwal kept the portfolios of Home, Power and Finance. Manish Sisodia, his right hand man, was given the portfolios of PWD/UD and Education. Saurab Bharadwaj and Satyendra Jain became ministers for Transport and Health, respectively. Rakhi Birla, the youngest member of the cabinet was given the portfolios of Women and Child Welfare.
It was a special day in Kejriwal’s ancestral village Kheda in northern Haryana. It is a small impoverished village with a population of 2,000 only. None of the villagers know Kejriwal but they respect his family. His family and not the government, according to the happy villagers, has done all the development work in Kheda. S0me members of his extended family told the curious reporters that Kejriwal was a studious kid. Another trait that they highlighted is his dead honesty. In 2006 Kejriwal received the Ramonsaysay Award. It is the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize for his social work initiatives.
Kejriwal is the protegé of Anna Hazare, the anti-corruption crusader who started the anti-corruption campaign in Delhi. Differences cropped up between them when Kejriwal founded the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Hazare, though, attended the ceremony and wished Kejriwal all the best.
The one year old Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) through its 100,000 strong volunteer corps lead a door-to-door campaign against the corrupt Congress government in Delhi. Another strategy these volunteers of the AAP employed was the extensive use of the social media platform. They had to resort to the door-to-door campaign and the Internet as the mainstream media refused to give AAP air-time. According to the media and majority of political analysts AAP was only a ‘spoiler’ in the elections. The media as well as the political commentators were proved wrong that the elections 2013 were a tussle between BJP and the ruling Congress. The mainstream media shunned Kejriwal as it failed to gauge the real sentiment of the Delhi voters. A major reason for the big media houses staying away from AAP was that it did not have the huge financial resources to buy air-time as compared to the BJP and Congress. Today the same media is running mad to get an exclusive interview or a photograph of Kejriwal as he was sworn-in as the chief minister of Delhi.
By Iftikhar Tariq Khanzada