Arvind Kejriwal will be sworn in by L-G Najeeb Jung as Delhi’s seventh chief minister on Saturday, 20 days after the Aam Aadmi Party made a stunning poll debut in the Capital.
True to the Aam Aadmi Party’s style, which is bitterly against the VIP culture, the swearing-in ceremony will be a public affair at the Ramlila Maidan, where tens of thousands of people — all with high hopes of getting good governance from their new leaders — are likely to gather amid tight security.
Kejriwal and his six ministers, all debutant MLAs who will also take the oath of office, are all likely to take the Metro to reach the venue.
The venue will not have a VIP enclosure and even Kejriwal’s family and those of other ministers will sit among general public. Kejriwal said everyone was welcome to attend the ceremony. The proposed ministers are former journalists Manish Sisodia, 41, Rakhi Birla, 26, former lawyers Saurabh Bharadwaj, 34, and Somnath Bharti, 39, architect Satyendra Jain, 49, and businessman Girish Soni, 49.
Kejriwal and Sisodia will board the Metro train from Kaushambi station at 11 am, while other MLAs would be taking the Metro from their respective constituencies. Somnath Bharti made it clear to HT, “We have not stitched any special dresses for the event. We are going to be normal and dress normal.”
Kejriwal will travel upto Barakhamba station and then head towards the venue in a car. After the swearing-in ceremony, Kejriwal will first go to Rajghat before heading to the Delhi Secretariat for a cabinet meeting.
Ramlila Maidan must hold a special place for Kejriwal. Ramlila Maidan is where an anti-corruption movement by Anna Hazare, with his protégé Kejriwal by his side, had taken a decisive turn in August 2011, forcing the Parliament to commit to an anti-corruption watchdog.
Kejriwal has pledged to pass a Jan Lokpal bill within 15 days of assuming office. Slashing power tariff by 50 per cent and providing 700 litres of water per day to needy households are among other key promises made by his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
According to estimates, around 50,000 chairs have been brought for the people coming in. The ground, which is likely to be packed, can accommodate 1 lakh people.
Around 1,600 Delhi policemen will guard the venue. CCTV cameras have been installed at more than 20 strategic locations and spotters will be deployed during the event at high-rise buildings in the neighbouring areas of the maidan. The North Delhi Municipal Corporation has deployed 50 of its sanitation staff and provided two mobile toilets with 16 urinals apart from the existing toilet complexes. Local AAP supporters were also spotted gathered outside the venue. Many had even come from outside the Capital.