NEW DELHI:In his second avatar as Delhi Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal, the only one without a portfolio among the 22-odd CMs, was sworn in on Saturday amidst a spectacle of song and dance. Even his six-member Cabinet was announced by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia, signalling that Kejriwal is above power politics and arrogance as the mentor instead of the mukhya mantri. In a direct message, Kejriwal asserted that he will serve Delhi for the next five years and asked party men to refrain from making comments on contesting elections in other states.
The chief minister without a protfolio, however, will supervise other portfolios and monitor the functioning of all ministries and ensure direct connect to the public. This would make him the only CM who acts as a monitoring superpower. Interestingly, four of six ministers were dropped from his earlier Cabinet on grounds of “poor performance”.
Wearing his usual blue sweater and grey trousers, Kejriwal’s coronation was attended by thousands of people from across the country. The AAP chief, popularly known as the ‘muffler-man’, gave the garb a miss since it was a bright and sunny day that reflected the mood. Six of his Cabinet ministers along with Sisodia were also administered the oath by Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung. Kejriwal’s family members sat in the common enclosure rather than the VIP enclosure. The Ramlila Maidan, the birth place of India Against Corruption movement which later became AAP, was packed with supporters donning the party’s trademark cap. The atmosphere was festive, with people singing, dancing and shouting slogans in support of AAP and Kejriwal. Some held placards that read ‘I am AK67’ and kewal AAP, baki saaf. Others held posters saying ‘My Valentine’.
Unlike the last time when his government was often in confrontation with the Centre, Kejriwal reached out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to work together for the betterment of Delhi. He even invited Kiran Bedi and Ajay Maken to help improve governance. In his over 30-minute speech, Kejriwal touched upon topics like statehood for Delhi and Jan Lokpal.