On Sunday, Arvind Kejriwal will take the oath of office and secrecy for the third time with his entire cabinet at Delhi’s Ramlila Maidan where big names among the country’s opposition leaders will be conspicuous by their absence. Kejriwal has not invited the chief ministers or party leaders of other states but has invited such people who, he believes, contributed significantly to Delhi in the last five years.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is applying a new idea called ‘Creator of Delhi’. Senior leader Manish Sisodia informed the press as much at a press conference at the party headquarters.
Sisodia said “In the last five years, people from 50 different sectors who have contributed significantly in building and running Delhi and who will contribute in running Delhi, are invited to the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Among these 50 people, a teacher of Delhi, the architect of Signature Bridge, a family of firefighters, the doorstep delivery boys, those who help people injured in accidents with a bike ambulance service, operators of the Farishta scheme of the Delhi government, etc will be special invitees.”
Sisodia said that these 50 guests will be seated on a separate stage with Chief Minister Kejriwal. Neither West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has been invited to the swearing-in ceremony, nor Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray nor Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren are among the invitees.
Kejriwal is believed to enjoy good relations with these prominent leaders of the opposition. Recently, Uddhav Thackeray and Hemant Soren invited him for the swearing-in ceremonies in their respective states.
Sources say Kejriwal now believes that by sharing a stage with these opposition leaders and joining hands with his political friends affects the image he tried to build of himself as an usher of a new kind of politics.
The Delhi chief minister did invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the swearing-in ceremony, but there has been no news that the prime minister would honour the invite. Kejriwal and Modi have had a strained relationship since the stunted rise of the AAP. The AAP convener avoided criticising Modi during his 2013 and 2020 campaigns but complained throughout the last five years before the election campaign began that the union government was not letting him work. The prime minister had referred to the government of Kejriwal as an accusatory government during the BJP campaign this year.