The historic moment has arrived. On Saturday, the capital will get a new chief minister, its youngest so far, in Arvind Kejriwal.
Kejriwal caught the imagination of lakhs of Delhiites, who gave his untested, debutant Aam Aadmi Party the second-highest mandate and a chance to give a “clean” governance by ending the Congress’ 15-year rule.
The 45-year-old chief minister-designate, along with six cabinet members, plans to take the Metro – the common man’s trusted transport in the crowded megapolis – and send out a strong message that a “no-frills” government has arrived.
Kejriwal will board the train from the Kaushambi Metro station along with all his 27 party MLAs and alight at the Barkhamba Road station.
From there, the activist-turned-politician will lead a march from the Metro station to the Ramlila Ground, the venue for Gandhian Anna Hazare’s anti-corruption campaign in 2011, which catapulted Kejriwal to international prominence. “Some people asked me for my oath-taking function’s passes. No VIP passes have been issued to anyone and the ceremony is open to all ‘Aam Aadmis’. My family will also reach the venue just like any other citizen. All of us will travel in the Delhi Metro on Saturday,” Kejriwal said at the Janata Durbaar, held for the third successive day at his house in Kaushambi in the satellite city of Ghaziabad.
Homage to Mahatma
After the oath-taking ceremony, the new chief minister and his cabinet members will visit Rajghat to pay homage to the father of the nation and then head for the secretariat facing the Yamuna river, which is half a kilometre away from Rajghat.
Apart from Kejriwal, Lieutenant Governor Najeeb Jung will administer the oath of office at 12:30 pm to his cabinet colleagues Manish Sisodia, 41, Rakhi Birla,26, Saurabh Bhardwaj,34, Somnath Bharti, 39, Satyendra Jain, 49 and Girish Soni, 49.
A cabinet meeting of the new government is also scheduled an hour after the oath taking ceremony where many major issues including free providing 700 litre water daily and discussion on the recent CNG price hike are likely to be discussed.
The cabinet can also take a decision in favour of autorickshaw drivers, one of the party’s important voters who have protested against the CNG price hike.
The new cabinet may also send a recommendation to Jung to summon the new government’s first Assembly session on January 1.
Sisodia is expected to get the education, urban development and revenue department, Bharti is the front runner for transport and health portfolios, Birla may get social welfare, Jain is likely to handle the public works department, Soni may get labour and industries and Bhardwaj may get food and supplies.
On the eve of his oath taking ceremony, Kejriwal suggested to the party workers to use their aggression positively.
“The way ahead must have a balance between aggression and composure,” he said.
At his Janata Durbaar, Kejriwal slammed the “corrupt” system for most of the woes of people who swarmed his residence since his decision to form the next government.
“The system has collapsed from top to bottom. Why so many people have to approach me for their problems? The system needs to be amended. Many of the people’s problems can be resolved through Mohalla Sabhas,” he added. A large number of AAP members and supporters are supposed to take the Metro to reach Ramlila Ground on Saturday.