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Kejriwal to share stage with 60 ‘architects of Delhi’ in swearing-in ceremony

Delhi’s chief minister designate Arvind Kejriwal will share the stage with a group of 60 people, being called ‘Delhi ke nirmata’ (architects of Delhi), drawn from different walks of life this Sunday when the AAP convener will the take oath of office and secrecy at central Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan — the place where the AAP was born out of an anti-corruption movement.

While chief ministers of other states and leaders from other parties have not been invited, an invitation has been sent to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the seven BJP MPs from the city, said senior AAP leader Gopal Rai. He said a letter was sent to the PMO on Friday morning.

Other senior party members said the invitation to the PM was “protocol”. It was, however, not clear whether Modi would attend the swearing-in ceremony. According to his schedule, the Prime Minister is travelling to his parliamentary constituency, Varanasi, on Sunday to inaugurate over 30 projects, news agencies reported.

A quick draft on the idea of the chief minister sharing stage with commoners – under the banner ‘Delhi ke nirmaata’ – was sent to Kejriwal’s office on Friday, a senior AAP functionary said.

The group would represent occupations such as doctors, teachers, pharmacists, sanitation workers, bus conductors, bus drivers, marshals deployed for women security, auto-rickshaw drivers, farmers, anganwadi workers, athletes, IIT and medical students enrolled under scholarships, PWD engineers and architects and delivery agents from the government’s doorstep delivery scheme, among others, said the draft which HT has seen.

A senior AAP leader said, “The guests will be chosen on the basis of performance in their occupations that have been recognised by the governments, civic agencies or media, or on the basis of reference from department heads in some cases.”

Till late Friday evening, the party functionaries had shortlisted few names which included those of a bus marshal who had rescued a minor girl from being abducted, a factory owner, a principal whose school was one of the top performers in the last board exams, the chief architect of the Signature Bridge, and two athletes who have won Bronze Medal in the Olympics, said the AAP functionary adding, all invitations will be sent on Saturday.

Responding to the AAP’s plan, Delhi BJP’s media convener Neelkant Bakshi said, “It is their show. Let them do what they want to.”

Praveen Rai, political analyst with the Centre for Study of Developing Societies, said: “Arvind Kejriwal not inviting any other chief minister or political leader from non-BJP ruled states is a clear signal that the party does not want to engage in any ideological posturing at this juncture.

“As far as inviting common people to share the stage with him during the oath-taking ceremony, it is a reaffirmation of its faith on citizens of Delhi and reflection of AAP’s idea of inclusive governance. It also sends out a loud political message that the AAP does not believe in VIP culture and celebrity endorsements. On the contrary it wants to share the same space with commoners and seek their blessings for a new political innings,” he said.

The AAP, which won a thumping majority of 62 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly, is likely to repeat all its ministers in the Cabinet led by Kejriwal in its third term, senior party leaders indicated, adding deputy chief minister and the five other ministers would also take oath in Ramlila Maidan. In 2015 too, the second consecutive term for AAP government, the oath taking ceremony was held at Ramlila Maidan.

On Friday, the party urged all residents of the city to attend the event scheduled for 10am Sunday through newspaper advertisements.

Source: HindustanTimes