Delhi loves Arvind Kejriwal. Fittingly, Kejriwal, the man who has created history by winning 67 seats in Delhi assembly, will be sworn in as the chief minister of the city state on February 14, Valentine’s Day.
The blockbuster victory of Kejriwal’s Aam Admi Party has stunned pundits and pollsters alike, and only showed how much Delhi loves the greenhorn politician, decried by his opponents as ‘muffler man,’ and his connect with the masses and classes of this city state of around 25 million people.
Kejriwal is, however, not the kind to let success go to his head. A day after the results of the Delhi polls were declared, the APP said that the party would invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi and other union ministers for the swearing-in ceremony. The induction of Kejriwal, a rights activist-turned-politician, will take place at Ramlila Maidan, the sprawling public square which was the epicenter of mass anti-corruption protests in 2011, pitchforking Kejriwal into the national limelight.
“We have sought his time, and I think we have been given a time for tomorrow (Thursday),” senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia said. “Our wish is to invite the PM and senior Union ministers (for the swearing-in),” said Sisodia.
Mr Kejriwal is expected to meet Mr Modi later in this week. The BJP had made the Delhi polls a personalized contest between Mr Modi and Mr Kejriwal. The strategy did not pay off, with the BJP getting only 3 seats, the party’s worst ever performance in the Delhi elections, traditionally a bastion of the party.
Now that the elections are over, Mr Kejriwal, however, can’t afford to antagonize Mr Modi as his government will need cooperation from the Central government to deliver on some of its pet poll promises, including the Jan Lokpal bill.
Mr Modi has, however, reacted with grace in the face of a humiliating defeat by a three-year-old political party. “Spoke to @ArvindKejriwal & congratulated him on the win. Assured him Centre’s complete support in the development of Delhi,” Mr Modi tweeted after Delhi’s love for Kejriwal was reflected in the landslide victory for AAP.
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