NEW DELHI: Capping a momentous election victory journey, Arvind Kejriwal was today sworn-in as Delhi Chief Minister along with six other ministers, and, in a first, decided not to keep any portfolio with himself.
Four days after his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) crushed both the BJP and the Congress by winning 67 of the 70 Assembly seats, Kejriwal took oath of office in the presence of over a lakh people who packed the Ramlila Maidan, venue of Anna Hazare's anti-corruption campaign that brought the former revenue service officer to political forefront.
Manish Sisodia, who has been appointed as deputy Chief Minister, and five other ministers Asim Ahmed Khan, Sandeep Kumar, Satyendar Jain, Gopal Rai and Jitender Singh Tomar were also administered oath of office and secrecy by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung.
Shortly after he took the office for the second time in one year, it was announced that the Chief Minister will not keep any portfolio but oversee overall functioning of the government. In his address after taking oath, 46-year-old Kejriwal unveiled the priorities of his government which included steps against corruption, communal elements and VIP culture and assured Delhiites that his government will fight for full statehood for the national capital.
Warning his party leaders and workers against arrogance, he said this was the reason for the defeat of Congress and BJP, which had received huge majority in Lok Sabha polls just nine months ago.
Terming the verdict as a "miracle of God", Kejriwal said, "I knew people of Delhi love me, but didn't know they love me so much."
The AAP won 67 of the 70 seats in Delhi decimating Congress and leaving only three seats for the BJP.
Assuring people that his government will make Delhi "India's first corruption-free state", he said if somebody asks for bribe don't refuse. "Setting ker lena (fix the deal) and video record it.
Send the video footage to me. I will take action," he said.
Kejriwal, who shot into prominence during the agitation led by 77-year-old Anna Hazare in support of Jan Lokpal Bill in 2011, assured the people that his government will bring the bill soon.
"Lokpal Bill is very important, it needs to be passed as soon as possible," he said.
Reacting to recent attacks on churches and a Christian school yesterday in Delhi, he said, "In recent days, we witnessed several communal incidents in Delhi. We witnessed burning of churches. I want to warn the elements who are responsible for these incidents."
"I want to make Delhi a place where people of all religions feel safe," said Kejriwal, asserting that people of all religions, castes and classes voted for AAP.
Emphasising that he wants cooperation and good relations with the Centre, Kejriwal said BJP had promised to grant full statehood to Delhi.
"Before the elections, they had promised this to the people of Delhi. It's not possible for the Centre to take care of important issues related with governance of the state, so I hope the Centre will fulfil their promise," the Chief Minister said.
Cautioning his party, he said, "I can see arrogance in reports that AAP will fight elections in other states.... We have to make sure that we don't get carried away and become arrogant."
Asserting that his government will not spare anyone who commits wrong, he said, "Some people might try to malign us by impersonating as AAP workers. I want to tell the law and order machinery not to spare anyone who indulges in unlawful activities."
During his address, Kejriwal also mentioned his opponents in the Delhi polls- BJP's Kiran Bedi and Congress' Ajay Maken.
"I respect Kiran Bedi. She is like my elder sister. She has good experience in administration. I need her advice. I will cooperate with Ajay Maken too. I will involve everyone to make Delhi an ideal state," the Chief Minister said.
Starting his address with "Bharat Mata ki Jai", Kejriwal ended his nearly half-an-hour speech with singing AAP's anthem 'Insaan ka ho Insaan se Bhaichara'.
Updates from Delhi:
1. 07 PM: Kejriwal appeals to please fill tax completely as we need money to run govt. says he won't let ur tax go to chori but to education, bijli, paani, parking.
1. 02 PM: People of Delhi took the oath and not me: Kejriwal.
1. 00 PM: Arrogance caused our party to lose Lok Sabha elections: Kejriwal.
12. 56 PM: I will make make Delhi safe for Hindus and Muslims. I want to end the VIP culture in Delhi: Kejriwal
12. 53 PM: I tried to contact Prime Minister Modi, but he is very busy nowadays where he has to run India and visit other countries: Kejriwal.
12. 52 PM: I want cooperation and good relations with the centre: Kejriwal
12. 50 PM: Imposters wearing AAP caps try to malign our party: Kejriwal
12. 49 PM: Lokpal Bill is very important and needs to be passed as soon as possible: Kejriwal.
12. 48 PM: I will work for Delhi's people with dedication for the next five years: Kejriwal.
12. 47 PM: I will make Delhi, the first corruption-free state: Kejriwal.
12. 44 PM: I didn't know that people of Delhi love AAP this much: Kejriwal.
12. 42 PM: BJP's arrogance defeated them: Kejriwal.
12. 36 PM: We cannot afford to be arrogant, God has sent a message and we are the messengers: Kejriwal.
12. 35 PM: The Rich and the Poor has voted AAP to power, Now we have the majority: Kejrwal.
12. 34 PM: Delhi Chief Minster Arvind Kejriwal delivers speech in Ramlila Maiden.
12. 32 PM: Jitender Tomar is a former Congress member, who joined AAP in 2013. BJP alleged that he had taken fake educational certificates.
12. 31 PM: AAP MLA from Trinagar Jitender Tomar takes oath.
12. 29 PM: AAP MLA Gopa Rai also former AISA students Union leader from Lucknow swears-in.
12. 28 PM: Around 1000 media persons present to cover swearing in ceremony of Arvind Kejriwal.
12. 26 PM: Satinder Jain reported quitted his CPWD job to fight corruption.
12. 25 PM: Satinder Jain who was the previous AAP Health Minister takes oath.
12. 24 PM: AAP MLA Sandeep Kumar from Sultanpur who trounced BJP by 64,000 votes approximately takes oath.
12. 22 PM: Asim Ahmed Khan MLA from Matia Mahal takes oath.
12. 20 PM: Arvind Kejriwal is now officially the Chief Minister of Delhi.
12. 17 PM: Manish Sisodia Sworn-in as Delhi's Deputy Chief Minister by the Lt Governor.
12. 14 PM: Arvind Kejriwal Sworn-in as Delhi Chief Minister for the second time by Lt Governor Najeeb Jung.
12. 13 PM: Lt Governor Najeeb Jung administers oath of Arvind Kejriwal.
12. 13 PM: Around 1 Lakh people present in Ramlila Maidan.
12. 10 PM: Tight security near podium where Arvind Kejriwal wil be sworn in as Delhi CM 2nd time.
12. 06 PM: Delhi BJP MLAs Vijender Gupta & O P Sharma attends Kejriwal' swearing in ceremony.
12. 04 PM: Today is a day of celebration & reflection. When both the processes are done with true responsibility & commitment,India is the real winner: Kiran Bedi
11. 57 AM: Kejriwal in his trademark blue sweater, steel grey trouser and muffler around head waves at crowd.
11. 53 AM: Arvind Kejriwal reaches Ramlila Maidan with Manish Sisodia to take oath as Delhi CM
11. 50 AM: Festive mood at Ramlila Maidan as AAP supporters turn in huge numbers donning Nehru caps.
11. 42 AM: Stage set for the swearing in ceremony.
11. 20 AM: Arvind Kejriwal and his wife Sunitha Kejriwal leave for swearing-in ceremony.
11. 10 AM: According to reports Arvind Kejriwal is unwell and is running a fever.
11. 00 AM: Kejriwal receives blessings from his mother, before leaving for the swearing-in ceremony.