New Delhi: Delhi got an 'aam aadmi' as its Chief Minister when Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal, who spectacularly ended the duopoly of Congress and BJP in the national capital in the recent Assembly elections, took oath at the historic Ramlila Maidan on Saturday amidst thousands of cheering supporters. Along with Kejriwal, six other leaders of the Aam Aadmi Party - Manish Sisodia, Girish Soni, Rakhi Birla, Satyendra Jain, Saurabh Bharadwaj and Somnath Bharti- took their vows as ministers of the Delhi government.
Kejriwal, an almunus of IIT Kharagpur and a former Income Tax joint commissioner, kept the crucial portfolios of Home, Power, Finance, Planning and Vigilance in the government and former journalist Manish Sisodia has been given the charge of Education and PWD Ministry in the government.
Rakhi Birla has been given the charge of Women and Child Development Ministry, Social Justice and Languages. Somnath Bharti will handle Tourism, Law, Administrative reforms in the Delhi government and Saurabh Bhardwaj will take charge of Transport, Food and Civil Supplies and Environment Ministry.
Kejriwal who has rewritten the grammar of politics in Delhi, soon after taking the oath, promised a corruption-free government for the state and appealed to the people to hold the positions of power without a sense of arrogance.
"I have met a few officials of Delhi government in the past few days and I won't hesitate to say that majority of them want to work for the nation. I appeal with folded hands to all of us- let us never become arrogant," he said.
He admitted that he was apprehensive about the challenges that lay ahead in the path but requested the people to keep the faith intact in them. "I know that we have a huge responsibility today. I admit we are scared because of the huge task ahead of us. I am sure if we will walk in the right path we will never make any mistakes," Kejriwal said seeking divine help to guide them.
Remembering Anna Hazare at the event, he said that he was advised by Anna that he should not get involved into politics. "Anna used to say politics is filthy, but I told him that we will have to step into it to clean the system," he said while addressing the massive crowd at the same location where two years ago Anna fasted, demanding an end to corruption and a strong Lokpal.
He said that he along with his team will work hard and join hands to fight for the country and expressed confidence that India will become 'sone ki chidiya' again in the next five years. "We are not here to earn money or for power. We have left our career to leave our mark of clean governance," he said.
After the swearing-in ceremony, Kejriwal visited Rajghat to pay homage to the Father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi.
The support for the newly elected government was evident in the manner in which the Ramlila Maidan swarmed with a huge crowd of several thousand.
Keeping his words of being a common man's leader, Kejriwal took the Delhi Metro till Barakhamba Road where he received a hero's welcome. Refusing to take the official car, he reached the event location in his own Wagon R.
At 45 years four months and 14 days, Kejriwal who was born on August 16, 1968 in Haryana's Siwani is the youngest Chief Minister of the city state. It is only the second time that a chief minister was sworn in at an open ground. The first time this happened was in 1996 when BJP's Sahib Singh Verma was administered the oath of office and secrecy at Chhatrasal Stadium.