Arvind Kejriwal to mark I-Day from Secretariat in view of Covid; guest list limited
This Independence Day, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal will hoist the tricolour and deliver his speech from the Delhi Secretariat, which will be telecast live via the government’s social media handles, in the light of Covid-19 lockdown norms that prohibit gatherings.
This would mark a break from the traditional celebrations at North Delhi’s Chhatrasal Stadium where the chief minister participates in a parade —a tribute to the freedom fighters —followed by a flag-hoisting ceremony and a speech, in the presence of thousands of people. Most of the galleries are often occupied by school children.
In his speech this year, a senior official in the chief minister’s office (CMO) said, Kejriwal will focus on Delhi’s fight against Covid-19—including a vote of thanks addressing all doctors, health care workers, sanitation workers, plasma donors and all “Covid warriors”. He will not, in all likelihood, announce any new scheme or policy.
At Chhatrasal Stadium last year, Kejriwal had announced the government’s scheme of providing free rides to women in Delhi buses—which was implemented from September 29.
“The guest list this year will be limited to 100. The flag will be hoisted in the outdoor area of the Secretariat. The chief minister is likely to give his speech from his office on the third floor. We are also considering using the open plazas on the first and second floors. A final call on that is yet to be taken. But there will be no parade or other celebrations, the CMO official said.
Cabinet minister Gopal Rai said, “Keeping in mind the Covid-19 pandemic, the Delhi government has decided to cancel the mega cultural programme celebrating Independence Day at Chhatrasal Stadium. However, a small programme will take place at the Delhi Secretariat. The chief minister and all the Cabinet ministers will be present.”
Among other invitees are all seven Lok Sabha MPs of Delhi, all three Rajya Sabha MPs, all MLAs, the Chief Justice of the Delhi High Court, mayors of the three municipal corporations, bureaucrats working with the Delhi government and officials of the Tihar central jail, Rai added.