Arvind Kejriwal took oath as Delhi's Chief Minister on Saturday .
Far from being a man in hurry--as he clearly was last time--he pledged to serve Delhi for five years, described himself as “sabka CM“ and promised to rid the city of corruption. And to complete this “mission“, he warned his party against ahankaar (arrogance), saying it had been punished when, with 28 seats in Delhi, it set out to contest across the country in last year's Lok Sabha polls.
Acutely conscious of the massive mandate given to his party by Delhi--67 out of 70 seats, which he described as a “miracle“ and “god's message“--Kejriwal assured Delhiites that this time he was going to be around for five years.
Acknowledging the contribution of every strata, Kejriwal said, “People of every religion have voted for Aam Aadmi; Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, all voted for AAP , people of every caste voted, the poor voted in large numbers, as did the rich.“Describing himself as everyone's CM, Kejriwal referred to even those who didn't vote for AAP . “We consider the MLAs of the three constituencies that we did not win our own. I have seen some parties do a booth-wise analysis after the election results and identi fy booths that did not yield votes for that party. For us, the entire Delhi is our booth. We have to serve the entire city ,“ he said.
Repeating his message of December 28, 2013 when he had taken oath as CM for the first time, he said if someone demanded a bribe, people shouldn’t refuse to pay. They should do a “setting”, record everything and hand it over to him. He promised strict action. In this context, he announced the revival of the corruption helpline soon.
With close aide and now deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia standing by him through his almost 30-minute long speech, Kejriwal warned his party of a fate like that of Congress or BJP if it allowed itself to become arrogant after the stupendous performance in the Delhi election.
In an open air ceremony at Ramlila Maidan, Kejriwal addressed a mammoth crowd of over a lakh. In a celebration of democracy witnessed rarely in India, thousands of AAP supporters from across the country had turned up. Shouts of `Bharat mata ki jai and `paanch saal Kejriwal' reverberated the air.
Striking a conciliatory note--he had told the PM he wanted “constructive and positive cooperation“--Kejriwal disarmed even his political rivals by saying that the government would like to benefit from the expertise and experience of BJP and Congress CM candidates, Kiran Bedi and Ajay Maken respectively .