- Arvind Kejriwal took oath as Delhi Chief Minister for the third time
- He dedicated AAP's victory to people, attacked critics of his policies
- "You can't put a price on my love for Delhi," he said
Arvind Kejriwal took a swipe at critics of his government's policies today after taking oath as Chief Minister of Delhi for a third time. He credited the people of Delhi for taking the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to a big win in the assembly election, and criticised rivals who made the people of Delhi "appear small" by coining them only with local issues like roads, water and electricity.
"Some people say Kejriwal has been giving everything for free. Friends, all the precious things on this planet, god has given for free. When a mother loves a child, that love is for free. When a father skips a meal so that his child can eat, that father's sacrifice is for free," Mr Kejriwal said, drawing applause from the crowd.
"Kejriwal loves the people of Delhi, and the people of Delhi love Kejriwal. This is also free love. You can't put a price on it," he said.
"Should I start taking big fees from students who are studying in our government schools? Shame on such chief ministers. Should I start taking money from poor patients who come for treatment to hospitals? I will be ashamed of myself if I did such a thing," the Chief Minister said.
During the election campaign, leaders of the AAP's rival BJP had campaign hard on national issues and attacked Mr Kejriwal over the protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act or CAA in south Delhi's Shaheen Bagh. Some Union Ministers had also called Mr Kejriwal a "terrorist".
The AAP, however, in their election ads and outreach programmes upfronted the work it has done in the national capital in the last five years. These include improving quality of teaching and infrastructure in government schools, and opening neighbourhood health centres called "mohalla clinics".
The AAP won 62 seats in the 70-member Delhi assembly. It was a near repeat of its 2015 tally of 67 seats -- at the end of one of the most polarising campaigns in the backdrop of the anti-CAA protests.