New Delhi, Feb 11: The sprawling Ramlila Maidan in the heart of the national capital was abuzz with activity Wednesday as municipality workers cleaned and decorated the venue where chief minister-designate Arvind Kejriwal will take oath Feb 14. The ground was witness to Kejriwal’s oath-taking ceremony last year as well when his Aam Aadmi Party supported by the Congress had formed a government which lasted for 49 days. However, this time, the AAP has got a clear majority winning 67 of the 70 seats.
Around 40 workers divided into teams of six each from the North Delhi Municipal Corporation were assigned to carry out specific jobs, a supervisor told IANS. Armed with brooms, some of the teams were busy cleaning the expansive ground which hosted the India Against Corruption’s agitation led by Anna Hazare to bring a strong Jan Lokpal in 2011. The movement subsequently gave birth to the AAP in 2012. Another team cleaned the massive white-coloured dais from where Kejriwal will take oath while others erected steel poles and enclosures in front of the stage for the thousands expected at the venue especially after Kejriwal’s invitation calling all Delhiites to join him Saturday.
In one corner of the ground, a few workers were busy draining out water from puddles across the ground and white chalk powder was used to decorate the entrances of the ground. Trucks carrying chairs and carpets kept arriving at intervals. “There will be chairs at the back and carpets in front so that we can accommodate as many people as possible,” the supervisor said, adding that the ground has the capacity to seat 30,000-40,000 people.
Meanwhile, talking about security arrangements, a police officer said different gates will be designated for the media, VIP and the public, while over a dozen metal detectors along with X-ray machines and barricades will be put up at all strategic points. Bomb detection squad vans, fire tenders and ambulances will also be stationed inside the ground while police vans will patrol the vicinity till the ceremony concludes.