Modi not to attend Kejriwal’s swearing-in ceremonyearing-in ceremony

pm-modi-arvind-kejriwal-meeting_650x400_41423722147NEW DELHI : Over a 15-minute chai pe charcha at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Race Course Road residence this morning, Arvind Kejriwal invited him for his oath ceremony on Saturday as Delhi chief minister. The PM has prior appointments and regretted that he will be unable to attend, sources said.
“Unfortunately, PM Modi will not be able to attend Arvind ji‘s oath taking ceremony,” senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia, who accompanied Mr Kejriwal, said. PM Modi is scheduled to be out of Delhi on Saturday.
At the meeting, Mr Kejriwal brought up the issue of full statehood for Delhi, sources said, a key demand of his Aam Aadmi Party.
Mr Sisodia also said after the meeting, “We had a good talk with the PM, told him that there is a full majority government at the Centre and Delhi and this is a golden opportunity.”
Since his party swept Delhi on Tuesday, Mr Kejriwal has reached out to the Centre, clearly seeking to put behind him a bitter election campaign; he needs the union government’s support to fulfil the mega promises he has made to Delhi’s voters.
When the PM had called to congratulate him on his stunning win on Tuesday, Mr Kejriwal sought the Centre’s support and won an assurance from Mr Modi, who had then also invited him for a chai pe charcha or discussion over tea.
Nine months ago, Mr Modi defeated his chief challenger Arvind Kejriwal in the national elections from Varanasi by lakhs of votes. On Tuesday, Mr Kejriwal’s AAP reduced PM Modi’s BJP to spectator status in Delhi, winning 67 of 70 seats. The BJP got three.
For the oath ceremony at noon on Saturday at the Ramlila grounds, AAP is also inviting all union cabinet ministers, the BJP’s seven Delhi MPs and Kiran Bedi, who was fielded by the BJP against Mr Kejriwal for Delhi chief minister.
Though he will take over as chief minister only on Saturday, Mr Kejriwal has been at work already. Yesterday, he met two central ministers and Delhi’s chief secretary, scheduling presentations by various departments next week.
The Centre controls a lot of Delhi land and also Delhi Police and AAP will need its help to fulfil election promises on housing and law and order.The Centre’s control of Delhi’s police has been cited by political parties that have governed Delhi as a big drawback. Last year, Arvind Kejriwal’s 49-day minority government had clashed with the Centre over Delhi Police.

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