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NEW DELHI: Arvind Kejriwal, a mechanical engineering graduate from India’s fabled IIT-Kharagpur, took oath as the seventh chief minister of Delhi here on Saturday at the crowded Ramlila Maidan, becoming the youngest chief minister of the Indian capital city at the age of 45.
Delhi Lt-Governor Najeeb Jang administered the oath of office to Kejriwal and his six ministers.
After the oath ceremony, Kejriwal in his fiery political speech said his party will work to uproot corruption from India.
Beginning with the slogans of Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Inquilab Zindabad, Kejriwal said, “Aaj ek bahut hi ethasik din hai. Aaj Delhi ke mukh mantri or mantriyon ne shapat naahi li, aaj aam adami ki jeet huyee hai. (It is a historic day today. It is not the chief minister or ministers who have taken oath. This day represents the victory of the common man).”
Kejriwal said, “If 1.5 crore citizens of Delhi get together, we can root out corruption from the country.”
His said his party has come to do politics honestly. “The battle is long, but if people come along with us, nothing can stop us.”
Kejriwal said, “Anna Hazare used to say that politics is kichd (dirt mud), and we shouldn’t enter it. But I would say that we have to enter it and clean the system from within.’’
He said, “It is a historic day. We have been doing struggle for two years and it is a new beginning.’’
Kejriwal didn’t forget to remember Santosh Kohli who died during the struggle of the Aam Aadmi Party. “I hope her soul will be happy with our success,’’ he said.
Warning his party men against arrogance, he said, “Hamare man me kabhi ghamand nahi ana chahiye. Kabhi ghamand mat karna (We should never get arrogance).”
Seeking public support and divine guidance, Kejriwal said, “We cannot fulfill our promises without public support. Hey prabhu hame sahas dena ke ham galti na karen (God, please give me the strength not to make mistakes).’’
About the impending vote of confidence, Kejriwal said, “We have not come here for power or money. We are not bothered if we win or lose the confidence motion.’’
He said during the last two years, something miraculous has happened in this country. “It is God who is doing it.”
Kejriwal also administered the pledge to people that they will neither accept nor give bribe. He advised them not to say `no’ to anyone asking for bribe and told them how the corrupt will be trapped. “We will give you a phone number and catch the corrupt red-handed.”
Later, he visited the Rajghat and then went to the Delhi secretariat.
Allocating portfolios, Kejriwal kept electricity and finance with himself.
Rakhi Birla, the youngest minister at 29, was given the portfolio of women and child welfare, while senior leader Manish Sisodia got education and PWD. Girish Soni was allocated development, employment, scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, and Somnath Bharti law and tourism departments. Satyendra Jain got the health department and Saurabh Bhardwaj the transport portfolio.
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