Want to work with Centre for smooth governance in Delhi: Kejriwal
New Delhi, Feb 16: Soon after taking oath on Sunday as Delhi chief minister for the third-time, Arvind Kejriwal sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “blessings” for smooth governance in the national capital and said that he wants to work in coordination with the BJP-led Central government to make it a number-one city.
Striking a conciliatory note after his stupendous victory in the assembly polls by bagging 62 out of 70 seats, Kejriwal, whose previous tenure was marred by several run-ins with the Centre, termed himself Delhi’s “son” and the “chief of minister of all” people irrespective of the party they have voted for.
“The two crore people of the national capital are my family,” Kejriwal said.
He sought cooperation from his rival the BJP and Congress, saying he has “forgiven” them for the remarks against him during the high-octane poll campaign.
The BJP had mounted its one of the most aggressive campaigns in the Delhi Assembly polls. Several BJP leaders had made controversial and even incendiary remarks against their rivals, prompting the Election Commission to take serious actions like barring Union minister Anurag Thakur and MP Parvesh Verma from campaigning. Verma in a public meeting had termed Kejriwal a “terrorist”.
Kejriwal had extended an invitation to Modi to attend his oath-taking ceremony. However, the prime minister was in constituency Varanasi on Sunday, where he inaugurated several projects.
“I had invited the prime minister but he could not come as he may have been busy. We want to seek Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s blessings for smooth governance of Delhi,” Kejriwal said in his nearly 20-minute address.
The Aam Aadmi Party had planned to keep the swearing-in ceremony “Delhi-specific” and hence did not not invited chief ministers of other states or political leaders.
“Your son has taken oath for the third time as Delhi chief minister. This is not my victory but yours,” Kejriwal told the crowd at the Ramlila Maidan, adding there was no step-motherly treatment for anyone and he has worked for all in the last five years.
“In the last five years, we tried to develop Delhi in a fast mode and in the next five years, we will continue to do the same.”
The AAP National convener began his address with ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’, ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ and ended it by singing ‘Hum Honge Kamyaab’, in which he was joined by the crowd.
Kejriwal spoke about the free facilities that his government had provided in the last five and said it would be a shame if he charged people for basic amenities like health and education.
“Some people say Kejriwal is giving everything for free. Nature has ensured that every valuable thing in the world is free, be it mother’s love, father’s blessings or Shravan Kumar’s dedication.
“So, Kejriwal loves his people and hence this love is free… I should be ashamed if I charge those who take treatment in government hospitals or study in government schools,” he said.
While lauding the people of Delhi for “changing” the politics of the country, Kejriwal said the name of India will resonate around the world because of this to this new-wave politics.
“Delhi’s ‘nirmatas’ (makers) are sitting here… Lakhs of ‘nirmatas’ run Delhi… Politicians come and go but Delhi’s ‘nirmata’ run Delhi,” he said.
Around 50 people from different walks of life who have contributed to the development of the city during the last five years shared the stage with Kejriwal as special guests during his oath-taking ceremony.