Delhi Poll: Kejriwal, the giant killer who swept Dikshit out of power
As a political greenhorn, engineer-turned-civil servant Arvind Kejriwal has cemented his place in politics with a stunning political debut for his nascent AAP and…
New Delhi: Dismissed as a political greenhorn, engineer-turned-civil servant Arvind Kejriwal has cemented his place in politics with a stunning political debut for his nascent AAP and emerged as a giant killer to sweep Sheila Dikshit out from not only office but also her constituency.
Belying all claims of being a “non-actor or no factor” in the Delhi Assembly elections by Congress and BJP, Kejriwal was largely instrumental in snapping the 15-year rule of incumbent Chief Minister. Adding to her misery was the defeat in her own turf–New Delhi constituency–by a huge margin of 25,864 votes.
Often poked fun at by politicians, the 45-year-old former Indian Revenue Service(IRS) officer was challenged by none other than senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal in — not to criticise the political system as an outsider but join it to cleanse it from within.
In the past one year, if there was one person who sent the entire political spectrum into a tizzy it was undoubtedly Kejriwal, who attacked both BJP and Congress on the issues of corruption, exorbitant rise in power and water tariff, safety of women and had managed to make a dent in the vote banks of both the parties.
Soft-spoken but a man with strong conviction, the Ramon Magsaysay award winner came into prominence from the agitation by 75-year-old activist Anna Hazare in support of Jan Lokpal Bill in 2011.
He was part of the Team Anna, along with first woman IPS officer Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan and others. He was the civil society representative member of the committee constituted by the Government to draft the Jan Lokpal bill, following the campaign for introduction of such legislation.
After feeling “betrayed” by the government when it rejected their draft, Congress and other leaders challenged them to join politics, win elections and come to Parliament if they wanted to “fight system from within”, root out corruption and get the Jan Lokpal Bill passed.
Known for taking on challenges, 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.
The party name Aam Aadmi Party reflects the phrase Aam Aadmi or “common man”, whose interests Kejriwal proposed to represent and got its poll symbol “broom” in July this year.
The party started its poll preparation way ahead in April with an emphasis to field only candidates with a “clean image” for all the 70 Assembly constituencies.