Armed with an overwhelming mandate of 67 seats in a 70-member house, Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday reached out to his poll rivals Kiran Bedi and Ajay Maken, seeking their support and guidance as he started work as Delhi’s new chief minister.
In his first address as CM, Kejriwal said the AAP government was “everyone’s government”. “Whether you voted for us, or not, I am everybody’s chief minister,” he said. “Those three seats, where the AAP does not have an MLA, we consider those three our MLAs as well.
We will not do that sort of politics. All of us together have to change Delhi.”
While the AAP had extended an invitation to both Bedi and Maken for the swearing-in ceremony, neither turned up. But in his 30-minute address, Kejriwal extended an olive branch to his India Against Corruption movement associate Kiran Bedi. “I respect Kiran Bedi very much. Winning and losing keeps happening in elections. But she is like an elder sister to me. In the police and administration, she has long experience. We will take Kiran Bedi along and from time to time, we will take her guidance and work,” Kejriwal said.
While the Congress did not win a single seat, the new CM also spoke about Maken, “Ajay Maken ji has long experience in making policy, in running government. We will also take advice from Ajay Maken ji from time to time, will take his guidance.”
He further added, “If there are good people in the BJP, if there are good people in the Congress, if there are good people in other parties, we have to work with them, and make Delhi a better city so that both the poor and the rich take pride in this city.”
Appreciating Kejriwal’s efforts to reach out to him, Maken said, “Kejriwal has begun well on a positive note. Wish him all the best and all support to him in his efforts for Delhi.”