Arvind Kejriwal will Be the CM of Delhi.

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Arvind Kejriwal Will Be The Chief Minister Of Delhi

By Times of India | December 23, 2013, 11:38 am IST

The Aam Admi Party announced it would form the government in New Delhi with the outside support of the Congress, ending days of suspense after elections in the capital threw up a hung assembly. The swearing-in ceremony is expected to take place on December 26.

 

 

ARVIND KEJRIWAL

 

Arvind Kejriwal will be the next chief minister of Delhi. The anti-corruption campaigner will meet Delhi lieutenant governor Najeeb Jung and hand over a letter to formally stake claim to form the government, capping a stunning debut in the just-concluded elections, blasting a hole in the power duopoly enjoyed by Congress and BJP.

 

Kejriwal will start his power run by scrapping the offensive symbols of VIP culture - cars fitted with red beacons and screeching hooters. His ministers will also stay in their regular accommodation, shunning the sprawling bungalows in leafy corners in Lutyens' Delhi.

 

This will be followed by early action on providing 700 litres of water to all households and an audit of power companies whom he transformed into symbols of his fight for the aam aadmi.

 

However, while these are predictable given that AAP rode to power on the strength of these populist planks, the party has to contend with a major problem. While Kejriwal, the sole piece of heavy artillery in its armoury, is the natural choice for chief ministership, he is torn between his immediate responsibilities and future goal of expanding the footprint of AAP outside Delhi before the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

 

"We have six months in power before the LS polls but this is the time when I will also be travelling all over to campaign for the party. It is a huge challenge for me but in the coming few days, we will work out how this will be managed," Kejriwal said.

 

The change of guard will be a political statement with the swearing-in ceremony expected to take place at either Jantar Mantar or Ramlila Maidan, a far cry from the cloistered confines of Delhi's Raj Bhavan. Kejriwal will be Delhi's youngest chief minister to date at 45.

 

The swearing-in ceremony is expected to include a stopover at Rajghat to honour Mahatma Gandhi.

 

Immediately after that, AAP intends to press on with its agenda. "We have no intention of going to any party for assistance. If Congress withdraws support at any time, we will go back to the people and ask for a re-election. However, till the time AAP is in power, we will try and implement as many of our promises as is possible," Kejriwal told TOI.

 

Just as the Delhi bureaucracy waits with some apprehension to the relatively unknown quantities set to take office, the Cabinet will include rank outsiders with no political experience whether it is Kejriwal's close aide Manish Sisodia or Malviya Nagar MLA Somnath Bharti. It remains to be seen how AAP manages traditional concerns like adequate representations for communities and weaker sections.

 

One concession to being in power will be Kejriwal moving from his Ghaziabad residence to a government house.

 

AAP had scheduled 280 meetings across the city between Friday and Sunday of which 128 were held over the first two days. In these, the party received support to form government in 110 while the majority in 18 was against its alliance with the Congress.

 

The party, fielding several first-timers and political novices, won 28 seats in the Delhi assembly election, coming second to BJP which won 32 seats. With eight Congress MLAs agreeing to give it support, the party will be able to touch the magic figure of 36 that is needed to form government.

 

Kejriwal said the 18-point letter he had written to Congress and BJP last week, asking for their support on his main points of agenda, was only a bid to expose the national parties' true colours. "I wrote those letters knowing very well what their response would be. The idea was to have them accept that in public and we achieved our goal. Beyond this, we have nothing to do with Congress or BJP," he said.

 

Kejriwal's statement will stand to test once the Lokpal bill is passed and as promised, AAP will launch an inquiry into the Commonwealth Games scam among other things, which could directly impact several Congress bigwigs.

 

The party will be holding a meeting on Monday morning where it will also probably decide its future ministers. While there were no official declarations, certain names were doing rounds on Sunday that included an obvious choice of senior party member and close confidant of Kejriwal, Manish Sisodia. Others included former councilor and winner from Laxmi Nagar Vinod Kumar Binny and lawyer from Malviya Nagar Somnath Bharti. The party has several political novices and there were doubts about whether they would be included in the cabinet.

 

 

The Jan Lokpal bill, first on the party's agenda if it won the elections, has been postponed till the beginning of January due to the delay in AAP staking claim to government formation. Kejriwal said that swaraj, so far only conceptual in nature, would be properly defined and implemented.

 

"The idea of mohalla sabhas is something we would like to structure properly and put in place as soon as possible. People cannot take all decisions but at least those pertaining to their areas can be decided by them," he said. An audit of discoms in an effort to reduce power bills and provision of 700 litres of free water to each family are other important issues that the party intends to tackle in the coming weeks.

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