Kejriwal: a man of one-shot triumphs
New Delhi: Call it beginner’s luck or outcome of sheer hard work, Arvind Kejriwal has always triumphed the biggest challenges in life at the very first shot, from clearing the IIT entrance exam, cracking the UPSC to becoming an MLA and now the Chief Minister of Delhi.
Born on August 16, 1968 in Hisar in Haryana to Gobind Ram Kejriwal and Gita Devi, Kejriwal cleared the IIT entrance exam in his first attempt just after school in 1985 and graduated as a mechanical engineer from IIT Kharagpur.
After completing his engineering, he joined Tata Steel in 1989 where he worked for three years. He resigned in 1992 and cracked the Civil Services Examination (UPSC) the same year in his first attempt.
Being in government service, Kejriwal was active in taking up social cause and worked for implementation of Right to Information Act at grass root level.
His efforts in the enactment of the RTI Act to empower the poorest citizens of India won him the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership in 2006.
In February 2006, after resigning from the post of Joint Commissioner in the Income Tax Department, he became a full-time activist and started an NGO, Public Cause Research Foundation, with his award money as the corpus fund.
The 45-year-old came into limelight from the Jan Lokpal agitation led by his one time mentor Anna Hazare in 2011.
He was part of Team Anna, along with first woman IPS officer Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan and others.
While they were feeling “betrayed” by the government when it rejected their draft, the Congress and leaders of other political parties challenged them to join politics, win elections and come to Parliament if they wanted to “fight the system from within”, root out corruption and get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed.
The indefatigable activist decided to take a plunge into politics and formed “Aam Aadmi Party” on November 26 last year, after a formal split of Team Anna.
Many laughed at this move and others dismissed Kejriwal as a political greenhorn, but he and his party started poll preparation way ahead in April.
And the outcome was stunning. The nascent AAP not only won 28 out of 70 seats in its debut election in Delhi but Kejriwal himself emerged as a giant killer sweeping Sheila Dikshit out not just from office but also her constituency.
Thumping the three-time Chief Minister by a massive margin of 25,864 votes, Kejriwal became an MLA after contesting his very first elections and is now all set to be the Chief Minster tomorrow.
Governor Najeeb Jung will administer the oath of office and secrecy to him at Ramlila ground, in what seems to be poetic justice as he first shot to fame on this very venue in 2001 during the Janlokpal agitation.