Ramlila readies for new CM, Hazare to stay away | india | Hindustan Times
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Ramlila readies for new CM, Hazare to stay away

india Updated: Dec 25, 2013 00:46 IST
Darpan Singh
Darpan Singh
Hindustan Times
Arvind Kejriwal

Preparations have begun at Ramlila Maidan for the swearing-in ceremony of Delhi’s new chief minister and his team of ministers. But anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare is not likely to be with his protégé and chief minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal when he takes charge formally, most likely on December 26.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation is done with levelling and earth-filling works. It has now started work to ensure sanitation arrangements at the 15-acre venue of Ramlila Maidan. Three tents have been put up so far. “Only finishing touches remain,” a senior official said.

AAP spokesperson Manish Sisodia, whose name figures on the list of ministers to be sworn in, told Hindustan Times: “We have extended an informal invite to all common people and those who are against corruption to join us at the swearing-in ceremony. We’re not sending VIP invites to anyone.”

On being asked if Anna Hazare was being invited to Ramlila Maidan, where the swearing-in is likely to take place, Sisodia said that he did not think so. “As I said we’re not sending individual invites,” he said. Hazare had launched his anti-corruption movement from Ramlila Maidan in 2011.

Hazare, however, said he would not attend the swearing-in ceremony even if he got an invitation because of his ill health. “No invitation has come. I will speak to Kejriwal on December 26.” Asked if he would attend the ceremony if he received an invitation, Hazare said, “No, cause right now I am unwell,” he said in Maharashtra.

Delhi chief secretary DM Spolia, who visited Kejriwal at his residence in Kaushambi in Ghaziabad and held a meeting with officials to take stock of the preparations at Ramlila Maidan said: “I do not have an official confirmation of the date of the ceremony. The L-G and the chief minister-designate will decide on the issues.”

Kejriwal has expressed his wish to hold the ceremony at Ramlila Maidan on December 26. Though Sisodia, who was also present, termed Spolia’s visit a mere courtesy call, party sources said government formation and ceremony details were discussed.

“Among other things, Kejriwal wanted to discuss with the chief secretary the financial health of the government,” a party source said.