As Arvind Kejriwal prepared for a second stint as Delhi’s chief minister on Tuesday, he attributed his Aam Aadmi Party’s stunning success in the assembly polls to the people and pledged a fresh campaign to root out corruption.
"This is the people's victory. My first priority will be to end ‘rishvatkhori’ (corruption)," a beaming Kejriwal told the media as trends in the counting of votes for the polls showed the AAP was set to bag 65 seats in the 70-member assembly.
The Indian Revenue Service officer-turned-politician described himself as an “ordinary man” and said: “I am the janta ka (people’s) CM."
"I had no nervous moments, we knew people were with us. I promise to be the janta's chief minister and end corruption and VIP culture."
Powered by a positive election campaign that focussed on issues of governance and was largely driven by AAP’s committed grassroots cadres, Kejriwal’s party swept aside the Bharatiya Janata Party, which was set to bag just four seats. In an attempt to counter 46-year-old Kejriwal, the BJP had fielded his former colleague in a popular anti-graft campaign – Kiran Bedi – as its chief ministerial candidate.
Though the BJP and Bedi had launched several personal attacks on Kejriwal during the campaign, the AAP chief refused to criticize the former IPS officer.
"I will not say anything rude about Kiran Bedi," Kejriwal said when he was asked to comment about his main rival in the election. Even earlier, Kejriwal had contended that Bedi, who joined the BJP only in January, was "a nice lady in the wrong party".
Kejriwal had attracted considerable criticism after he quit in February last year after serving as Delhi’s chief minister for just 49 days when he was unable to push through an anti-graft law. He repeatedly apologized to the people for his decision during the campaign and asked them to give him and the AAP a second chance.