A date with Delhi on Valentine’s Day
NEW DELHI : As the guests settled in their seats inside the packed hall, the compère recalled how a “love affair” between the Aam Aadmi Party and the people of Delhi began on the Valentine’s Day three years ago. She was referring to February 14, 2015 when the AAP stormed to power in the national Capital.
“Today, when we are celebrating Valentine’s Day, we are here to commemorate the love affair that started three years ago,” she said.
Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his council of ministers had gathered at the NDMC auditorium on Jai Singh Road for an outreach session by taking questions and feedback through phone calls, social media and email.
After replying to first question on parking woes in Delhi, Kejriwal blushed when a Delhi University girl, Kritika, greeted him “Happy Valentine’s Day” on phone before asking him whether he had a message for the young people in the current atmosphere of “hatred”.
The chief minister smiled and said,“nafrat ka jawab nafrat nahi hai...nafrat ko pyaar se hi counter kia ja sakta hai (hate can be countered by l ove only),”kejriwal said, urging people to stand against divisive politics.
“Nobody should stay silent,” he said.
After introductory remarks by the chief secretary, Anshu Prakash, Kejriwal went back in time over what he called Delhi’s experiment with politics that paved the way for a “political earthquake”.
“Usually, one dedicates his entire life to politics to become an MLA. But, defying the conventional practices, three years ago, Delhiites voted for AAP and elected legislators who were ordinary people from their neighbourhood and gave us an unprecedented mandate – 67 out of 70 seats,” Kejriwal said to a round of applause.
“Modern, vibrant, pollutionfree, smart Delhi is my dream,” he said.
Kejriwal’s deputy Manish Sisodia also won applause when he pointed out that some male MLAS in the audience should give a seat to Shalimar Bagh MLA Bandana Kumari, who was standing in the crowd.
A person rose from the middle row and offered a seat to Kumari, earning a thank you from the minister.
In his speech, Sisodia listed his government’s achievements in education and finance, saying that Delhi’s revenue collection has increased even as country’s GDP reduced.
“What else can we do to prove how honest we are,” he said.