Delhi-only affair at swearing-in, baby mufflerman is special inviteeUpdated: Feb 13, 2020 22:48 IST
The swearing-in ceremony of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) convener Arvind Kejriwal and his cabinet colleagues at Ramlila Maidan on Sunday will be a Delhi-only affair as the party has decided not to invite any chief minister or political leader from other states for the event.
Estimating a crowd of over a lakh in the ceremony, Kejriwal on Thursday released an audio message on social media and the radio, urging people to come in large numbers “to give blessings to the son of Delhi”.
The AAP returned to power in the February 8 Delhi elections, winning 62 of the 70 assembly seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) won eight seats and the Congress drew a blank for the second time in a row.
After Sunday’s swearing-in, all 70 MLAs of the seventh Delhi legislative assembly are likely to take oath in the House either on February 18 or 19.
Party leaders on Wednesday had said Kejriwal was likely to retain all cabinet ministers from the previous term. The portfolios of all the seven ministers are also likely to remain the same.
Apart from Kejriwal, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia, urban development minister Satyendar Jain, labour minister Gopal Rai, social welfare minister Rajendra Pal Gautam, food and civil supplies minister Imran Hussain and transport minister Kailash Gahlot of the outgoing cabinet will also take oath on Sunday.
AAP Delhi unit convener Gopal Rai said the party’s decision not to invite chief ministers and political leaders from other states is not a new one.
“In the oath-taking ceremonies in 2013 and 2015 also, no political leaders and chief ministers from other states were invited. This victory in the assembly election is the victory of the people of Delhi. Respecting the mandate given by the people, the party has decided that the focus will be on the people and not any big politician or personality,” he said.
Another senior AAP leader said that by inviting several chief ministers and non-BJP leaders from other states, the party did not want to send out a message that it is “against” the central government.
“However, all seven BJP MPs of Delhi and newly-elected MLAs, including those from the BJP, are likely to be invited for the oath-taking ceremony on Sunday,” the party leader said on condition of anonymity.
Baby Mufflerman, whose photos went viral on social media as the Aam Aadmi Party swept the Delhi Assembly polls, has been invited to the swearing-in ceremony of Arvind Kejriwal on February 16.
Among the thousands of aam aadmis (common people) invited for Sunday’s ceremony, the party has sent out a special invite to “baby mufflerman” Avyaan Tomar, a one-year-old boy who had dressed as Kejriwal on counting day and was spotted by people at AAP’s office. Despite being there since morning, Avyaan and his parents were unable to meet Kejriwal on Tuesday – the counting day.