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Kejriwal Talks of Change after Taking Power

There was no motorcade, and none of the customary trappings of power: the leader of India's upstart Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or "common man party” reached on a crowded metro train on Saturday to be on oath in as chief minister of Delhi. Tens of thousands of jubilant supporters gazed at as Arvind Kejriwal, a mild-mannered former tax official, was daubed after a stunning electoral debut that has joggled the country's two main parties just months before a general election. The appearance of Kejriwal's AAP as a force to be consideration with barely a year since it was created on the back of an anti-corruption movement could give it a facilitator to challenge the mainstream parties in other urban areas in the election due by next May. That could be a risk to the front-runner for Prime Minister, Narendra Modi of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), who is counting on strong support from urban, middle-class voters. "Today, the common man has won," Kejriwal said in a victorious speech at Delhi's Ramlila grounds, the very place where huge protests over corruption exploded in 2011, opening the way for the birth of the AAP. "This truly feels like a wonder. Two years ago, we couldn't have imagined such a revolution would take place in this nation." In a December 4 election to the legislative assembly of Delhi, a city of 16 million people, no party won the mainstream of seats required to rule on its own. The stalemate that ensued was broken after the AAP - in an exhibit of citizenship politics - consulted the people of the city. It then decided to lead the Delhi government with "outside support" from the Congress party, which heads the national ruling association. Opinion polls show that Congress, the party of India's celebrated Nehru-Gandhi empire, will be penalized in the general election because of disgust with a government whose two terms have brought corruption scandals and stubborn inflation.

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