File photo. Photograph:( ANI )
The new politics is "of schools, hospitals, 24-hour and cheap power supply, water, roads, women's security, corruption-free Delhi and is being discussed all over the country, Kejriwal said
Striking a conciliatory note, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Sunday sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "blessing" for Delhi's progress and said that he "forgave" his rivals for the remarks against him during the campaign, while crediting the people of the city with ushering in a new kind of politics which is development-oriented.
Addressing a gathering at Ramlila Maidan after taking oath for the third time, he vowed to continue working for the fast-paced progress of the national capital, and defended the populist schemes of his government, which struck a cord with the voters, saying he can't charge people for basic amenities.
The new politics is "of schools, hospitals, 24-hour and cheap power supply, water, roads, women's security, corruption-free Delhi and is being discussed all over the country, he said, adding that initiatives like mohalla clinics are being replicated across the country and abroad.
Responding to his critics over freebies, the chief minister said, "They say Kejriwal is making everything free, but I want to say that everything precious in the world is free. The love that a mother has for her child is precious and priceless, the fact that a father stays hungry to afford a good future for his child is priceless. Shravan Kumar served his parents with all his might. Kejriwal is your Shravan Kumar."
"Do I start charging people for education and health? Do I start charging patients for their operations? That is not possible," he said during his 20-minute speech.
Setting his new government's roadmap for the next five years, Kejriwal, who during his previous tenure had several run-ins with the Centre, asserted that he would work in coordination with the BJP-led central government and sought cooperation from political parties, saying he wants to work with everybody.
"I had invited the prime minister for the oath-taking ceremony today, but I think he could not make it because he might have been busy. I want the PM to bless us so that we can work for the development and progress of Delhi."
He said people voted for the AAP, BJP, Congress, and other political parties, but he was the chief minister of all.
"I want to work with everybody. It is obvious that there would be heated exchanges among political parties during elections. We have forgiven our opposition for whatever remarks they made about us. I would also like to request the opposition parties to forget what happened during the elections," Kejriwal said.
Several BJP leaders had made controversial and even incendiary remarks against their rivals during campaigning. MP Parvesh Verma, in a public meeting, had termed Kejriwal a "terrorist".
"I want to say to the two crore people of Delhi, irrespective of whom you voted for in the elections or what party you belong to, you are my family now. You can come to me without any hesitation and I will complete all your work, irrespective of your political affiliation, caste and whether you are rich or poor," he said.
"We have to do a lot of work in Delhi. I cannot do it alone, I need your support in making Delhi the most developed and beautiful city in the world," he told the crowd.
Lauding the people of Delhi for "changing" the politics of the country, Kejriwal asserted that it is everybody's dream to have a developed Delhi and India which can be appreciated all around the world. "This would be possible only through new politics which has been started by you all."
According to party leader Gopal Rai, the AAP will launch a nationwide campaign from February 23 to March 23 to connect with one crore people.
He sought to project his 'Delhi Model' at a national level as he said that several states have started setting up mohalla clinics and following his government's works.
"Kejriwal loves his people and hence this love is free... I should be ashamed if I charge those who take treatment in government hospitals or study in government schools," the chief minister said.
Asserting that in the last five years he has worked for all and there was no step-motherly treatment towards anyone, Kejriwal told the crowd at the Ramlila Maidan, "Your son has taken oath for the third time as Delhi chief minister. This is not my victory but yours."
"In the last five years, we tried to fast pace Delhi's development and in the next five years, we will continue to do the same."
The AAP national convener began his address with 'Bharat Mata ki Jai', 'Inquilab Zindabad' and ended it by singing 'Hum Honge Kamyaab', in which he was joined by the crowd.
The Aam Aadmi Party had planned to keep the swearing-in ceremony "Delhi-specific" and hence did not invite chief ministers of other states or political leaders.
Instead, around 50 people from different walks of life who have contributed to the development of the city during the last five years shared the stage with Kejriwal as special guests during his oath-taking ceremony.
"Delhi's 'nirmatas' (makers) are sitting here... Lakhs of 'nirmatas' run Delhi... Politicians come and go but Delhi's 'nirmata' run Delhi," Kejriwal said.