AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday took oath as Delhi’s chief minister for the third term. Also taking oath of office as Kejriwal’s cabinet colleagues were Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain, Gopal Rai, Kailash Gehlot, Imran Hussain and Rajendra Gautam. This meant that Kejriwal has decided to not change his cabinet by retaining all his ministers from the previous government. Contrary to speculations, no woman has found a place in his cabinet.
After Atishi won her first-ever election from Delhi’s Kalkaji, many had expected her to find a place in the new cabinet. Atishi had worked as an advisor to Manish Sisodia in carrying out a major reform in the education sector.
The AAP had fielded nine women in the just-concluded assembly polls, three more than 2015. Except for Sarita Singh, who lost her elections from Rohtas Nagar, every other woman candidate managed to win their seat.
Speaking after taking oath of office, Kejriwal assured Delhiites that he will work for everyone including those who had voted for the BJP and the Congress. “No matter who you voted for, you are part of my family. Party affiliations never stopped me from working for anyone,” he said from the stage in Delhi’s Ramlila ground.
Kejriwal had also invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be a part of his swearing-in ceremony, but the latter travelled to his constituency Varanasi to launch several projects. Kejriwal said that he had invited the ‘Prime Minister too, but maybe he was busy with some other work.’ He, however, sought PM Modi’s blessings.
Kejriwal’s party swept the recently-held assembly elections by winning 62 out of 70 seats. The BJP won eight while the Congress failed to win a single seat. The election campaign was marred by extreme polarisation with several BJP leaders dragging the issue of anti-CAA protests to woo voters. One BJP leader had called it a contest between India and Pakistan, while Home Minister Amit Shah had asked voters to press the button on the EVM so hard that the current should reach Shaheen Bagh, the place for anti-CAA protests in the national capital.