Ghaziabad, Dec 29: It was his first Sunday after becoming Delhi’s chief minister, but it may well have been a working day for Arvind Kejriwal.
With the excitement of the 45-year-old taking charge of Delhi yet to die down, Kejriwal had his hands full as an unending stream of people called on him at his modest middle class residence here.
They included known names like Kamal Farooqui, a former leading light of the Samajwadi Party, and some 500 drivers and conductors of the Delhi Transport Corp (DTC) and municipal workers.
There were plenty of others too.
Kejriwal, who has been suffering from a bad cough for days, was not well enough to attend a morning ‘havan’ his father Govind Ram Kejriwal had organised at a nearby temple.
But he had time for most of those who called on him — or simply wanted to take a glimpse of the founder leader of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which has made a huge splash after its stunning showing in the Delhi assembly elections.
The DTC crew, holding applications for making their jobs permanent, poured out their woes to Kejriwal — and begged that they be given permanent jobs in the fleet.
Kejriwal heard them out and told them to give him a week or 10 days so that a system can be set up where representations given by people could be read and acted upon.
“Please give me a week to 10 days time to settle down. We have just assumed power. I will accept your applications when we have a system in place to resolve the problems,” he said.
Leaders of the DTC crew appeared pleased with the response.
Farooqui spent an hour with Kejriwal but did not give a direct answer when journalists wanted to know if he was joining the AAP.
The former Samajwadi Party national secretary told the media: “The whole country wants to join the AAP. I am sure you also want to join the AAP.”
Kejriwal, usually an early riser, got up around 8 a.m. and after his breakfast started meeting people, who had begun thronging outside his house from 7 a.m.
After the DTC employees, came the municipal body safai karmcharis to demand regularization of employment. Employees of the BSES came to meet him and also representatives of a teachers association.
AAP member Sanjay Singh held a janta durbar for the people for a hour. People handed him their applications. Kejriwal’s secretary Rajendra Kumar and Delhi Assembly secretary P.N. Mishra also came to meet the chief minister.
Family doctor and friend Vipin Mittal came to meet him and advised some medication for his unrelenting cough, said party aides.
After having lunch around 2 p.m., the chief minister retired for some time. He met his secretary Rajendra Kumar to discuss issues at around 4 p.m.
The Girnar Tower in Kaushambi township where Kejriwal lives with his wife, two school going children and parents has been attracting large crowds since it became known that the former income tax official would rule Delhi.
With crowds thronging the chief minister’s residence, personnel from Uttar Pradesh Police have been deployed at the entrance and a metal detector placed at the entrance to the apartment block.
According to police, 10 men from Uttar Pradesh Police would be stationed round the clock for security.