Delhi: administrative structure
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2015: Council of Ministers, Delhi government
Chief Ministers: Delhi
CM promises to consult `experienced' opposition
Feb 15 2015
Exactly a year after his government resigned following a tumultuous 49day stint in Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal took oath as chief minister. 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 for completing this “mission“, he warned his party against ahankaar (arrogance), saying they had been punished when with 28 seats in Delhi, they 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.
“Since Delhi's people have given me love and they have put faith in me, for the next five years I will live in Delhi and only serve the people of the city ,“ he said. Acknowledging the contribution of every strata, community and caste in AAP's win, Kejriwal said: “People of every religion have voted for Aam Aadmi; Hindus, Muslims, Chris tians, Sikhs, Jains, all voted for AAP, people of every caste voted, the poor voted in large numbers, the rich also voted.“
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 booth-wise analysis after the election results and identify 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.
Speaking on his resolve to eradicate corruption, he said he, too, was wracked by doubts during the Anna agitation whether India would ever become corruption-free.But AAP managed to achieve that in its 49 days in government, he said. “Last time, before forming a government, there was zest, passion and romanticism in us, a craze to remove corruption from the country , but today...we have the confidence that in five years we will be able to rid Delhi of corruption.“
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 revival of the anticorruption 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 they allowed themselves to become arrogant after the stupendous performance in the Delhi election. “When one gets such a victory , one can become arrogant. And if one gets arrogant, then everything is lost,“ he said. That is why all of us have to be on guard. We will constantly have to introspect to ensure that we do not get arrogant. Already I can see some amount of arrogance has crept inside us. People voted out Congress and BJP because they had become arrogant.“
At an open air ceremony at Ramlila Maidan, an important venue for the AAP leader who not only took his first oath as CM here but also rose to prominence after his anti-corruption dharna here with Anna Hazare, 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 in 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 . “I respect Kiran Bediji a lot. Victory and defeat are fallouts of an elec tion. Kiranji is like my elder sister. She has experience in police and administration. We will take her along and will take her guidance from time to time,“ he said. He said Maken had a long experience in policy making and governance and his guidance would also be sought. After the ceremony , he was seen warmly hugging BJP MLA and former state BJP chief Vijender Gupta.
Leaving no one in any doubt that statehood was a priority with him, he said he told the PM: “We have a majority in Delhi and he has a majority at the Centre. If both agree that Delhi should get full statehood, then Delhi will indeed get it. I also told him that as PM, he has too much on his plate. Leave the task of running Delhi to Delhi government. He should run the country .“
The trials of the past year have evidently taught Kejriwal some important lessons, one of them being practicality . Battling controversies over his house and mode of travel within the city , largely because of the numerous promises his party had made before the previous election, Kejriwal clarified that as CM he would need an big office to meet people, a vehicle for government work and house to live in.
The CM has also promised an end to VIP culture and passing of Jan Lokpal Bill and sent out a special request to traders that while they wouldn't be hounded by government agencies, they should pay their taxes regularly .