Hectic preparations for AAP’s big day

Hundreds of workers help set up the stage for AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal to take oath as Chief Minister for the third time

Around 5 p.m. on Saturday, eight daily-wage workers carried a board, supported on a wooden frame about 20-feet-long and eight-feet-high, above their heads at a noisy Ramlila Maidan.

As they erected the board along one of the entry gates leading to the ground, it revealed a message: “Thank you, Delhi”, written in Hindi, next to a photo of a beaming Arvind Kejriwal.

The Aam Aadmi Party national convener will take oath as the Chief Minister of Delhi for the third time at the ground, and hundreds of workers were charged to spruce up the place for the event. “We have been working since Friday... we worked through the night also,” said Deepak Kumar, 64, from Uttar Pradesh, who was fixing another board.

Mr. Kumar said he had slept for only four hours since Friday. “I get ₹700 for a day’s work and extra ₹700 for the night shift... I also get food,” he added.

The white stage from where Mr. Kejriwal and his Cabinet will take oath on Sunday afternoon is being decorated with orange, white and yellow flowers. Facing the stage, thousands of metal chairs with green and red seats were being arranged for the event.

The chairs were divided into nine blocks for the public, which were separated by metal walls, and in one such block more than 100 AAP volunteers had assembled to take instructions for Sunday’s duty.

“If you do not come, then the programme will not succeed. It is your duty to make it a success,” an AAP worker addressed the crowd. “You have to be here at 6 a.m. and we will take your attendance and give ID cards,” he added.

Around 3,000 AAP workers will assist the police in crowd management for the event that is expected to attract a crowd of around 1 lakh people.

Apart from the nine blocks for the public, there will be one area — right in front of the main stage — for the newly elected MLAs and their families. Behind it will be another area for officials of the Delhi government.

“We always work with the police in all our events to make it a success. We want Sunday’s event to be a grand success,” said Adil Ahmad Khan, 34, an AAP leader overseeing arrangements.

Around 6 p.m., orange, yellow, and white garlands started appearing on the white walls and roof of the main stage; dozens of policemen and white gypsies continued to criss-cross the ground and labourers hurriedly carried on with their work — they had a lot of work to do before the big day.

Dinner meeting

Meanwhile, Mr. Kejriwal on Saturday called a dinner meeting of his Ministers-designate to discuss the roadmap for the development of the Capital, especially the initiatives that need to be prioritised in the coming three months.

“Hosted my Delhi Cabinet designate colleagues for dinner at my residence. Congratulated them on their victory in the election and wished them success for their terms as Ministers in the Delhi govt [sic.],” he said in a tweet.

According to party functionaries, Mr. Kejriwal also discussed the roadmap for making Delhi a global city.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2020 7:10:29 PM |

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