Free Press Journal

Ramlila Maidan gears up to host Kejriwal’s 2nd swearing-in


AAP, Arvind Kejriwal

New Delhi: Preparations are afoot at Ramlila Maidan here for Arvind Kejriwal’s swearing-in ceremony as Delhi Chief Minister on February 14. The ground, which served as the battleground for the 46-year-old anti-graft crusader during the Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption movement, is getting decked up to host Kejriwal for his second oath-taking ceremony.

The Delhi government, North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) and Public Works Department (PWD) are working to make the venue ready for the occasion.

“The levelling of the ground is already done, as we had made preparations for the recent Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally here. We are working on arrangement for sanitation like mobile toilets, which would be installed a few days before the function,” a senior NDMC official said.

Seating arrangement are being made by the Delhi government, which has marked space for “nearly 40,000 seats, which would include VIP enclosures”.

“We are also making arrangement for standing for about 20,000 people… Since, we are not sure how many supporters will turn up at the venue, we are a little concerned about the crowd management on the day,” a senior Delhi government official said.

Over a lakh people had attended the 2013 swearing-in ceremony on December 29. “The walls and the canopy had received fresh paint jobs for the Prime Minister rally, so that is taken care of. The PWD will also start decorating the dais and the venue with potted flowers. The ceremony is supposed to be in the open, so no cover has been put up yet,” the NDMC official said.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) yesterday emerged victorious in the Assembly polls, clinching 67 seats in the 70-member House.

Kejriwal repeated his triumph in the high-profile New Delhi constituency by handing a crushing defeat to BJP’s Nupur Sharma by a huge margin of 31,583 votes. The historic venue is once again set to reverberate with the sounds of people hailing Kejriwal and his resurgent party, which in the 2013 polls had staged a stunning debut, getting 28 seats.

The bureaucrat-turned-politician and his winning candidates had chosen the same ground for getting administered the oath of office last time.