Taking oath as the chief minister of Delhi for the third consecutive time, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal Sunday said he has forgiven his opponents who spoke ill against him and his party during the highly-polarised election campaign.
Follow Arvind Kejriwal swearing-in LIVE updates here
“I want to work by taking everyone along. We forgive our opponents for whatever remarks they made during the poll campaign. The election is over,” Kejriwal said at his oath-taking ceremony at Delhi’s Ram Lila Maidan.
Kejriwal has retained his previous Cabinet members, who are all male. Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain, Imran Hussain, Rajendra Pal Gautam, Kailash Gahlot and Gopal Rai took oath as council of ministers. As many as 50 representatives from each sector shared the stage with Kejriwal. However, CMs of other states were not invited.
Recounting his government’s achievements in the last five years, Kejriwal countered allegations of providing “freebies” to the people. “They say Kejriwal give everything for free. Nature has ensured every valuable thing in the world is free, be it a mother’s love, father’s blessings or Shravan Kumar’s dedication. Kejriwal loves his people and hence this love is free,” he said, adding that he worked for everyone in the last five years, including the “BJP mohallas” and “did not give step-motherly treatment to anyone.”
“I am your chief minister. I am Delhi’s chief minister. Even BJP’s, Congress’ chief minister,” he said, adding “it doesn’t matter who you voted for, now all Delhiites are my family. I will work for everyone, be it from any party, any religion, caste.”
The new chief minister of Delhi also sought blessings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for “smooth governance” of the city. Modi, who was personally invited by Kejriwal, did not attend the ceremony as he is currently in his constituency Varanasi.
“I had sent an invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji for this event. He could not come. Maybe he is busy at some other event. But through this platform, I want to take blessings from PMji and the central government to develop Delhi and take it forward,” the chief minister said.
In the weeks leading up to the elections on February 8, the BJP’s election campaign mainly revolved around protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act, including Delhi’s Shaheen Bagh. BJP MPs Anurag Thakur and Parvesh Saheb Singh Verma were removed by the Election Commission from the BJP star campaigner’s list and banned from campaigning for 72 hours and 96 hours, respectively. Parvesh was banned for a second time for calling Kejriwal a “terrorist”.
The AAP recorded a massive victory winning 62 of the 70 seats while BJP bagged the remaining eight seats. The Congress drew a blank for the second consecutive time. Union Minister Amit Shah said the controversial remarks made by his party MPs may have affected its performance. Statements like “goli maro” and “India-Pak match” should not have been made, he said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines