Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal met Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday, his first stop for the courtesy calls on the central government leadership after sweeping Assembly elections.
The meeting went on for over 20 minutes at Shah’s residence at Krishna Menon Marg in New Delhi. The meeting was earlier scheduled at the Home Ministry.
“Met Hon’ble Home Minister Sh Amit Shah ji. Had a very good and fruitful meeting. Discussed several issues related to Delhi. Both of us agreed that we will work together for development of Delhi,” Kejriwal tweeted after the meeting.
Met Hon’ble Home Minister Sh Amit Shah ji. Had a very good and fruitful meeting. Discussed several issues related to Delhi. Both of us agreed that we will work together for development of Delhi
— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) February 19, 2020
Shah had led the BJP offensive against Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the Delhi Assembly polls. The AAP trounced the BJP in the elections, winning 62 of the 70 seats.
This was their first one-on-one meeting ever in a formal setting, an AAP leader said.
Arvind Kejriwal had sought an appointment to meet Home Minister Amit Shah right ahead of the Delhi elections to complain about what he called the deteriorating law and order situation in the national capital. That request wasn’t accepted by Shah’s office, given how it had been designed to take a jab.
Shah later acknowledged that his assessment of the Delhi elections had gone wrong but underscored that the BJP had succeeded in expanding its ideology through the polls, a reference to the increase in the BJP’s vote share.
Wednesday’s face-to-face meeting was also the first time that Kejriwal and Amit Shah talked to each other rather than at each other. Arvind Kejriwal had been Shah’s preferred punching bag through the election campaign. Kejriwal was unsparing in his rebuttals as well, accusing Shah of abusing his control over the police for petty conspiracies.
Kejriwal’s courtesy call – he wasn’t able to meet Amit Shah when he moved to the Home Ministry after last year’s national elections – is seen as a concerted effort to work together with the central government for the national capital.
Shah, and the home ministry that he leads, play a crucial role in Delhi affairs that is, legally, a Union Territory with a state assembly and heavily dependent on the Centre’s support.