It will be Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal from tomorrow
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Last Updated: Friday, December 27, 2013, 17:32
  
New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal will take charge of Delhi as its Chief Minister on Saturday in a meteoric rise to power after breaking away from anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare and launching Aam Aadmi or Common Man's Party a year ago with a pledge to clean up politics.

45-year-old Kejriwal, a Magsaysay award winner who quit Indian Revenue Services to fight graft and shot into limelight as an RTI activist and later with Jan Lokpal bill agitation, will take oath as Delhi's youngest Chief Minister along with six of his ministerial colleagues at a public function at the historic Ramlila Maidan which is expected to be attended by a large crowd.

After leading his party to a phenomenal success in the assembly polls, Kejriwal will now face the immediate challenge of fulfilling a number of key promises like passage of Delhi Jan Lokpal Bill, cutting power tariff by 50 per cent and supplying 700 litres of free water to each household in the city.

He will be facing enormous public expectations as he had capitalised on the disillusionment of various sections of citizens -- be it autorickshaw driver, residents of slum clusters or middle class families -- with mainstream political parties.

Kejriwal is expected hold a meeting of his cabinet immediately after the oath taking ceremony and is likely to make certain announcements.

The AAP government, with outside support from the Congress, is likely to have little over two months' time to deliver on its immediate priorities as model code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls is set to come into force in March.

His moves on the promise to probe allegations of corruption against the Sheila Dikshit dispensation will also be watched carefully as he led AAP to electoral victory pledging to root out corruption.

Kejriwal has already started the process of identifying "honest" officials in Delhi Government and indicated that they will be given important tasks.

Initially AAP had refused to take support from either Congress or BJP to form the government following which both the parties had accused it of shying away from the responsibility fearing that it would not be able to deliver on its promises.

On Monday, the party had staked claim to form the government after results of its 'referendum' overwhelmingly favoured it to take the reins of power.

From 26-year-old Rakhi Birla to 41-year-old Manish Sisodia, the Delhi Cabinet is not just going to be the youngest ever but also probably the first in which all members, including the Chief Minister, are debutant MLAs.

Birla will not just be the youngest minister in Kejriwal's cabinet, but also its only woman face.

Birla had emerged as a giant killer after thumping four-time MLA and PWD Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan in the previous Sheila Dikshit government in Mangolpuri by around 10,500 votes.

Before joining AAP, Birla had worked with a private news channel.

Manish Sisodia, a trusted aide of Kejriwal, came to prominence during Anna Hazare's movement for Jan Lokpal Bill in 2011. The 41-year-old journalist turned-activist-turned- politician defeated BJP's Nakul Bhardwaj by over 11,000 votes from Patparganj constituency in East Delhi.

Another face in Kejriwal's team is Saurabh Bhardwaj, an engineering graduate who had also studied law.

The 34-year-old defeated Ajay Kumar Malhotra, son of veteran BJP leader V K Malhotra, by a margin of around 13,000 votes from Greater Kailash constituency.

Kejriwal, who is a product of IIT Kharagpur, has another IITian in his cabinet in Somnath Bharti who is an MLA from Malviya Nagar. He holds a Master's degree from IIT, Delhi, and a degree in law. The 39-year-old defeated BJP's Arti Mehra and another Delhi government minister Kiran Walia.

MLA from Shakur Basti (North) Satyendra Jain, who will also be inducted as a minister, is an architect by profession. Satyendra used to work in CPWD but fed up with the level of corruption in the department, he quit his job and started providing architecture consultancy.

He actively joined during the Jan Lokpal movement and then joined AAP when the political party came into being.

Girish Soni, an MLA from Madipur, had participated in Bijli-Pani agitation of the Aam Aadmi Party and motivated people to join the agitation. He was associated with Bharat Naujawan Sabha in 1980. He was the general secretary of the party in Madipur.

PTI

First Published: Friday, December 27, 2013, 17:32


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