Arvind Kejriwal of India’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) promised big changes for Delhi after being sworn in as its new Chief Minister (CM) on Saturday. Earlier this week, the AAP swept the elections in Delhi, winning 67 out of 70 seats on its assembly.Today, on the anniversary of his resignation as CM in 2014, Kejriwal promised that with the support of the people, he will bring about the changes they desire in their government.
In his address after the inauguration, Kejriwal called the amazing victory of the AAP “a miracle” from God. He told the people that to credit the win only to the hard work of the party members, whom he praised for their efforts, could lead to dangerous arrogance. He called for everyone associated with the AAP to ensure that they were not becoming too full of themselves. He told the people that arrogance could lead to the party being unable to finish their mission, citing the last time the AAP was in office and the defeat of the BJP.
Kejriwal made a promise to change the way the government operates in Delhi. He told the people at the inauguration that he wants to eradicate what he called the “VIP Culture” of politics in India. He wants to be a politician who will not “travel in cars with beacons.” When he finds a new house in Delhi, the leader of the AAP will not take a house that is bigger than what he absolutely needs.
Kejriwal also told the people of Delhi that he will work to end corruption in the state. It is the same promise he made the last time he was sworn in as CM. To this end, he urged government officials to let him know if someone attempts to bribe them. His government will punish them severely. With this promise, the new CM reignited the spark that his government displayed last time they were in power to remove corruption.
The AAP government will also work with the Prime Minister to negotiate self governance for Delhi. Kejriwal reminded the people of Delhi of a promise made by the BJP before every election. He said that he is determined to negotiate with the Prime Minister and believes that he will agree that self governance is best for Delhi.
The AAP has massive support from the people of Delhi. Calls have been coming in since the election offering financial support for some of the new infrastructure that the government wants to develop, including new schools. But Kejriwal said that money is not a problem for the government. Instead, he believes that the problem that Delhi’s government has been having is one of intent, and he is thankful for the support that his government is already receiving.
Perhaps the most stunning change that Kejriwal has promised for Delhi is that his government will not simply speak for the people of the state, but allow them to speak for themselves. In his address, he said that “every citizen of Delhi has become the state’s CM.” For a state whose people have lacked a voice in its government, this is a major turning point. The AAP and the people of Delhi are hopeful that it will mean a better future for the state.
By Kirstin Pinto