Just an hour before he was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Delhi on Saturday, Arvind Kejriwal waited his turn, got frisked by Central Industrial Security Force personnel and then boarded a train at the Kaushambi Metro station like any other commuter.
Being a regular Metro user, Mr. Kejriwal had his own smart card and did not have to buy a token, an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) spokesperson said.
The Kaushambi station was packed with supporters half an hour before Mr. Kejriwal and other AAP leaders were expected to arrive. A group of supporters made a human chain near the electronic gates to allow the party leaders and their families a safe passage up to the platform. Spontaneous chants of “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” echoed through the station, only growing louder when supporters learnt that Mr. Kejriwal was on his way.
Supporters stood along the railings of platform number two, jostling with each other for the best view of their leaders. Because of the large crowd, Mr. Kejriwal, other AAP leaders and their families were slow in making their way to the platform, where they waited for the Blue Line train going to Barakhamba Road. All this while, chants of “Aam Aadmi Party Zinadabad” filled the cold December air.
As the train pulled into the station, the AAP supporters waved at the train driver and he waved back.
The train was full of AAP supporters and mediapersons. “I would want all the promises that have been made to be fulfilled,” Manish Sisodia’s wife said.
Mr. Kejriwal’s daughter Harshita, who was also in the train, told The Hindu: “I’m excited today but it’s the first step. The struggle is still on. Whatever papa had promised, I’m sure it will be fulfilled. People will get better lives, a corruption-free India.”
A supporter who has taken time off from his job was excited to travel in the same compartment as Mr. Kejriwal. He said: “What the country needs are not people who have made politics their family business but clean administrators. We need people who think about people; commoners who can lead the country. And Arvind Kejriwal is that person.”