Arvind Kejriwal’s Speech after becoming Delhi CM in Feb 2015

Bharat Mata Ki Jai. Inquilab Zindabad. Vande Mataram.

Dear brothers and sisters, mothers and elders. I thank you for coming here today in such large numbers. Exactly a year ago, on February 14, 2014, we resigned. Today, exactly a year later, Delhi again has an Aam Aadmi government.

The difference is that last time we fell short by eight seats. This time people of Delhi and God took care of that. This time it is with full majority that an AAP government has been voted to office. I always knew Delhi loves us, I did not know Delhi loves us so much. Sixty-seven out of 70 seats! On results day it was raining seats. People of every religion voted for us; Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, all voted AAP, people of every caste voted, the poor voted; and in such large numbers. The rich too voted.

No human effort could have pulled this off, this was a miracle. This is God’s way of saying he has some grand plan. We are insignificant, only the medium. But we are fortunate God chose us to carry out his wishes.

Friends, when one gets such a victory, arrogance can creep in. And if one gets arrogant, everything is lost. That is why all of us — me, the ministers, MLAs, families, volunteers must be on guard. We’ll have to introspect constantly and question ourselves to ensure we don’t turn arrogant. If w?e turn arrogant we will never complete our mission. In the past few days, I’ve been hearing our people say on TV we will fight elections here and there, we will contest in five states, 10 states.

I see some arrogance in these statements. I don’t think this is right. Why did people vote out Congress? It’s because Congress became arrogant. The same BJP which got such a handsome mandate in May was humbled in Delhi. They too became arrogant. Last election, we won 28 seats, but we too became arrogant and decided to contest elections across the country. God punished us for our arrogance and the LS election results made that clear.

We need to learn a lesson from this. Since God has instructed me, Delhi’s people have instructed me, people have put their faith in me, for the next five years I’ll live in Delhi and serve people of this city and put my heart and soul in to fulfil my responsibilities.

Recently, some doctors met me. They complained that sometimes people in white caps go to them and misbehave in their hospitals. I am sure genuine supporters and volunteers of our party will never do something like this. Our volunteers have their left jobs, their families and made great sacrifices.

It is possible that some people from the opposition parties are wearing our caps and trying to defame us. My directions to officials and police personnel are clear if someone wearing a white cap indulges in hooliganism, that person must not be spared. Immediately arrest them. These people cannot belong to AAP. Punish them double the punishment that law prescribes.

I remember during Anna’s movement, we raised slogans for a corruption-free India. But there was doubt in my mind whether India could actually become corruption free. We demanded the Lokpal Bill, but sometimes wondered if the Lokpal Bill would actually end corruption. We ran a 49-day government and even our most vocal critics agree that in those days we eradicated corruption from Delhi. Last time, before forming government, there was a zest, passion and romanticism within us, a craze to remove corruption. After running a 49-day government, today we are confident that in five years we will rid Delhi of corruption.

We’ve to make Delhi India’s first corruption-free state. For this, I am making the same announcement I made on Decmber 28, 2013, from here. If someone asks you for a bribe, don’t refuse. Slip your hand into your pocket and switch on your mobile phone recorder, tape everything. If someone asks you for money, record their voice. Give it to me. We will take the strictest action. For this, we will start as soon as possible the telephone line which the corrupt used to dread during the 49-day government. Second is the issue for which Anna Hazare fasted at Ramlila Maidan: The Janlokpal Bill. It is essential to pass it as soon as possible.

I would like request my friends in the media. Don’t ask me how many hours I will take to do something, 24, 72 or 30? This is not how governments function. Other parties couldn’t deliver the Lokpal Bill in 65 years. We’ll deliver as soon as possible. But we will do substantive and good work. We will work 24 hours. Our entire team; me, the ministers, our MLAs will work for 24 hours. As soon as the poll results came, we got down to work. I have had fever. Even today I popped a Crocin. I’d request my friends in the press not to measure my government’s functioning in hours. Delhi’s people have given us five years.

In the past few months, certain incidents have occurred in Delhi because of which people here are angry. There were attempts to spark riots, one church was torched, some were attacked. Delhi’s residents are peace loving. In the past 35 years, we haven’t seen such incidents. Delhi’s people won’t tolerate this. People of Delhi– Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians, Jains — all of us celebrate Diwali, Eid, Christmas and other festivals. I tell all those who practise communal politics to stop it. Delhi Police doesn’t come under Delhi government, even then, I believe with the police we will make Delhi a city where every Hindu, every Muslim, every Christian, every Sikh, people of every religion and caste feel safe.

I met the PM and I told him we want constructive and positive co-operation with the Centre. We’ll cooperate with every central work that is positive. We want the Centre to cooperate with us in our endeavour to make Delhi better and excellent.

In the past 15 years, before every election, BJP talked of giving full statehood to Delhi. Even before the 2014 LS elections, BJP promised people of Delhi they’ll get full statehood. I told the PM God can’t give a better opportunity than this. I told him: We’ve a majority in Delhi. You have a majority at the Centre. If we agree that Delhi should get full statehood, Delhi will indeed get it. I’m ready for this. I’m sure the PM too will think positively about this. I told the PM he has too much on his plate. He has to think about the entire country, he has to go on foreign trips. When incidents happen in Delhi, when rapes are reported, when crime takes place, the PM doesn’t have time to spare for Delhi. I urged him: Leave the task of running Delhi to the Delhi government. You run the country.

This AAP government is everybody’s government. Whether you have voted for us or not, I am everybody’s CM. Even MLAs of three constituencies that didn’t vote AAP, we consider our own. I’ve seen some parties do booth-wise analysis after election results and identify booths that didn’t yield enough votes. The whole of Delhi is our booth. We must serve the entire Delhi and all of us must work together.

Delhi’s traders have supported us in this election. My request to them is we need money to run the government. Today, I promise all traders. No one will harass you or ask for money. Run your business without fear. We want your business to grow. But pay taxes on your own. Before this, the taxes you paid were often stolen. I won’t allow that to happen. Every paisa you pay will be spent on education, hospitals, roads, on improving your markets. We will build parking slots. We will spend on women’s security, on streamlining water and power supply.

The government has enough money and resources. What is lacking is intent. If people with good intention are at the helm, there can be lots of development.

Ever since our government got elected, I’ve been getting phone calls. Someone called up to say: You promised to build 20 colleges. I’ll give money for three. Someone else said: Get the school built at such and such place, and I’ll give you land. Then someone else said, I’ll give 1,000 CCTV cameras to the government. I’ve learned that people of this country are great! You hug them and take them along; they’ll become catalysts for development.

We want to end this VIP culture. You tell me, do you feel good if a road is closed for an hour because some minister is passing by? Do you feel good when a minister with a red beacon zips past siren blaring? In many developed nations, PMs are seen waiting at bus stops. Why can’t we bring such a culture? It will take time. We had launched this initiative during our 49-day rule when we disallowed red beacons on all Delhi government cars, the CM’s car included. I request my media friends don’t make fun of this. Our commitment is not to travel in cars with beacons. But the media says: Look he is travelling in a car. How will a minister function without a car?

In three days from now, reports will start pouring in on how Kejriwal has moved into a big bungalow! A great man once told me we must never forget our roots. I know my status. I’m a small man. I live in a 4-5 room house. Wherever I go, I will need a house that size. But I’ll need an office, otherwise how can a CM work? When you come to meet me, won’t I need space to put chairs to seat 400-500 people? I will take a house that can meet these requirements. Don’t worry I won’t take a bigger house than what is required!
I respect Kiran Bediji. Victory and defeat are fallout of an election. Kiranji is like my elder sister. She has long experience in police and administration. We will take Kiranji along and will take her guidance. Ajay Makenji has a long experience in policy making and governance. We will consult Makenji. We want to take help of all good people in Congress, BJP or any other party so we build the Delhi of our dreams.
It’s not me who has taken the CM’s oath. All of you have taken this oath. It’s not me who has become Delhi’s CM. Every citizen of Delhi has become the state’s CM. From today, you can breathe in freedom. Bribery will stop from today. Slowly, in five years we will attain our objective of a corruption-free Delhi. I pray to God to give us good sense and courage. I pray to God that we never become greedy, we never become arrogant and are able to take the right decision.

AAP workers are men and women of values and principles. You can weigh them in diamond and gold. I have got a post, MLAs have a post, but what have those people achieved who quit their jobs to work for AAP? Those unknown faces too have toiled. They have not toiled for Kejriwal or AAP. They’ve worked for a golden Delhi, a Golden India, a huge applause for AAP workers. I hope Team India will win the World Cup, good wishes to the cricket team.

And in the end, I want to sing a prayer. I am a bad singer and have a sore throat. Today, when there are attempts to poison people on caste and communal lines, we want to replace this politics of hatred with politics of love.

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