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Kejriwal all set to take oath on Sunday, invites PM for swearing-in ceremony

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 14-02-2020 21:25 IST | Created: 14-02-2020 21:25 IST
Kejriwal all set to take oath on Sunday, invites PM for swearing-in ceremony

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been invited by Chief Minister-elect Arvind Kejriwal for his swearing-in ceremony at the Ramlila Maidan on February 16, senior party leader Gopal Rai said on Friday but it was unclear whether he will attend the event. Rai, the convenor of the Aam Aadmi Party's Delhi unit, said a letter was sent to the prime minister on Friday morning.

It was, however, not clear whether Modi would attend the swearing-in ceremony. According to his schedule, he is travelling to his parliamentary constituency Varanasi on Sunday to inaugurate over 30 projects. Meanwhile, President Ram Nath Kovind appointed Kejriwal as the chief minister of Delhi.

According to an official notification, the President has also appointed six MLAs -- Manish Sisodia, Satyendar Jain, Gopal Rai, Kailash Gehlot, Imran Hussain and Rajendra Gautam -- as ministers of the Delhi government following the advice of the chief minister. "The President has been pleased to appoint Shri Arvind Kejriwal to be the Chief Minister, National Capital Territory of Delhi with effect from the date he is sworn in," the notification said.

All seven Delhi MPs and the eight newly-elected BJP MLAs have been invited for the oath-taking ceremony, Rai told PTI. Another party leader said all municipal councillors have also been invited.

No chief minister or political leader from other states will be part of the event as it will be a "Delhi-specific" ceremony, Rai had said on Thursday. Kejriwal, through front-page advertisements in newspapers, has urged Delhiites to attend the ceremony as he is set to become the chief minister of Delhi for the third consecutive term.

He will take oath as Delhi chief minister along with his cabinet at 10 am on Sunday for which preparations are afoot at the historic Ramlila Maidan. The police too have made elaborate security arrangements for the event.

An official said nearly 3,000 security personnel will deployed for the event. CCTV cameras will be fitted at and outside the venue.

Ramlila Maidan, which served as the battleground for the 51-year-old bureaucrat-turned-politician during the Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption movement, is getting decked up and workers are busy making arrangements. The Delhi government, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, which owns the ground, and Public Works Department are working in tandem to make the venue ready for the occasion.

"We had levelled the ground during the prime minister's event that took place recently. So, other ground work needs to be done. We have handed over the charge to the Delhi government and PWD is making other necessary arrangements," a senior NDMC official said. Toilet blocks already are in place in and around the Maidan. Arrangements for other sanitation facilities like mobile toilets, are being done, he said.

Rai will visit the venue on Saturday to assess the preparations for the event, officials said. The sprawling ground has a capacity of about 1.25 lakh people.

Officials said besides seating arrangements, there will be provision for people to stand as thousands are expected to attend the swearing-in. In 2015 too, Kejriwal's oath-taking ceremony took place at the Ramlila Maidan. It was held on February 14, coinciding with Valentine's Day.

In 2013 after his party's first poll victory, the swearing-in ceremony was again held at the same venue. The Delhi Police has also issued a traffic advisory for Sunday's event. Traffic regulation will be in place in the area from 8 am to 2 pm, they said.



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