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Wednesday, April 01, 2020

At swearing-in, talk of bijli-paani, health — and a larger role for Kejriwal

The oft mentioned subsidised electricity and water supply schemes and improvement in healthcare cropped up in many conversations at the Maidan, but there were also some who spoke about Kejriwal assuming a larger national role.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: February 17, 2020 3:11:32 am
AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal Sunday took oath as the Delhi chief minister for the third successive time at the Ramlila Maidan. (Express photo: Renuka Puri)

Thousands of people from Delhi and beyond gathered at Ramlila Maidan on Sunday morning to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, with many conversations around Delhi’s “development under the Aam Aadmi Party”, and how the model should be “replicated across the nation”.

Hemant Kumar (35), an accountant from Seemapuri, brought his wife, mother and one-year-old daughter to see the ceremony.

“Kejriwal has brought a revolution in politics of the country and now other states are looking at his model of governance and trying to improve. People are scared to take and give bribes now. Our government schools have changed drastically — from having tin roofs to a proper building; perhaps they can be made better if students’ aptitudes are assessed and they and their parents are encouraged to focus on subjects they like,” said Kumar.

The oft mentioned subsidised electricity and water supply schemes and improvement in healthcare cropped up in many conversations at the Maidan, but there were also some who spoke about Kejriwal assuming a larger national role.

CM Arvind Kejriwal’s wife Sunita at the swearing in ceremony. (Express photo by Renuka Puri)

Sabir Ali (58) from Okhla, who came to the ceremony with his friend Dr M Rehman, said, “Kejriwal keeps everyone’s welfare and growth in mind and doesn’t just say ‘sabka saath, sabka vikas’ for the sake of it. His ministers are educated and we need people like them. If he keeps working with the same vigour as he does now, he can be the next PM.”

Many at the event said they want the government to keep working on electricity, water supply, healthcare and education and improve them further. Others said unemployment and crime also need attention.

One-year-old Avyaan Tomar, whose pictures dressed as Kejriwal went viral, was a special invitee for the event. (Express photo by Renuka Puri)

Jitendra Rawat (32) from Burari, said, “We voted for development and for those who worked to provide services to us. In the past five years in our area, the condition of unauthorised colonies and roads have improved by 80% after moving at a slow pace previously. In the next term, the government needs to work on creating employment because that will help curb thefts and other crimes in the city. Our MLA has told us he would work on this within one month, so we will see.”

In the crowd were also people from other states, who said they came to the capital especially for the ceremony. Babu Bagdi (40), an AAP supporter, travelled over 500 km with his two brothers from Pali, Rajasthan, to attend the event. “I received a message on my phone about the ceremony and decided to come. Kejriwal banda bohot badiya hai (Kejriwal is a good man). He has improved all essential services here, and we need someone like him in our state too,” he said.

PM Modi congratulates Kejriwal

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Sunday wished “a fruitful tenure” for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Modi tweeted: “I congratulate Shri Arvind Kejriwal on taking oath as Delhi’s CM… Best wishes to him for a fruitful tenure.”

Kejriwal thanked Modi and replied, “Thank you for the warm wishes sir. I wish you could come today, but I understand you were busy. We must now work together towards making Delhi a city of pride for all Indians.”

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