Arvind Kejriwal


Arvind Kejriwal

Arvind Kejriwal was born on 16 August 1968, is an Indian politician and a previously bureaucrat who is the current and 7th Chief Minister of Delhi since February 2015. He formerly served as Chief Minister from December 2013 to February 2014, stepping down after 49 days. He is the national leader of the Aam Aadmi Party. His party won the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections with a majority, obtaining 67 out of 70 assembly seats.

Personal life and family

Arvind Kejriwal was born in Bhiwani, Haryana, to a well-educated couple, Gobind Ram Kejriwal and Gita Devi. Arvind Kejriwal has a younger brother and a younger sister. His father, Gobind Ran Kejriwal, was an electrical engineer from the BIT, Mesra. His father’s work-related transfers guided him to several different places. As a result, Arvind Kejriwal had to spend his childhood mostly in towns like Ghaziabad, Hisar, and Sonepat. He studied at the Campus School in Hisar. Arvind Kejriwal graduated in mechanical engineering from the IIT, Kharagpur, in 1989. He also spent some time at the Ramakrishna Mission and Nehru Yuva Kendra in Kolkata.  Kejriwal is married to Sunita, his batchmate from the NAA, Mussoorie. She is an IRS officer. They have two children – a daughter, Harshita, and a son, Pulkit. Arvind Kejriwal is a pure vegetarian and has been a regular practitioner of Vipassana.

In 1985 he took the IIT-JEE exam and scored All India Rank (AIR) of 563. Later he joined Tata Steel in 1989 and was posted in Jamshedpur. Kejriwal resigned in 1992, having taken leave of absence to study for the Civil Services Examination. He spent some time in Kolkata, where he met Mother Teresa, and assisted with The Missionaries of Charity and at the Ramakrishna Mission in North-East India and at Nehru Yuva Kendra.

Political career

Arvind Kejriwal joined the IRS as an Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax in 1995 after clearing through the Civil Services Examination. In November 2000, he was granted two years’ paid leave to pursue higher education on condition that upon resuming his work he would not resign from the Service for at least three years. Failure to go by that condition would require him to repay the salary given during the leave period. He rejoined in November 2002. As per Kejriwal, he was not given any posting for almost a year, and kept getting his salary without doing any work; so, after 18 months, he applied for leave without pay. For the next 18 months, Kejriwal was on sanctioned unpaid leave. In February 2006, he left from his position as Joint Commissioner of Income Tax in New Delhi. The Indian Government claimed that Kejriwal had violated his original agreement by not working for three years. Kejriwal said that his 18 months of work and 18 months of unpaid absence amounted to the stipulated three-year period during which he could not resign and that this was a try to malign him due to his involvement with the Indian anti-corruption movement. The argument ran for several years until, in 2011, it was resolved when he paid his way out of the Service with the assist of loans from friends. Kejriwal paid ₹ 927,787 as dues but stated that this should not be taken as an admission of fault.

After joining politics, Kejriwal claimed in 2013 that he had selected public service over earning crores as an Income Tax Commissioner. This led to a controversy, with the IRS association claimed that he has never been promoted to the rank of Commissioner of Income Tax.

On 19 September 2012, Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal found that their differences over the making of a political party to replace India against Corruption movement were irreconcilable. On 2 October 2012, the birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, Kejriwal claimed that formation of a political party. He claimed that the party would be formally launched on 26 November 2012. The Constitution of India was adopted on this day in 1949.

The party was established in Delhi on the said date and was called the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) or the Common Man’s Party. The party contested elections for the first time on 4 December 2013 for the Delhi legislative assembly. Arvind Kejriwal defeated Sheila Dikshit in the New Delhi assembly constituency, who had been the chief minister of Delhi for three successive terms. He was first sworn in as the Chief Minister on 28 Dec 2013. He governed Delhi for only 49 days as he resigned from the post in Feb 2014.

The National Capital Territory of Delhi went to polls on 7 February 2015 and saw a record electorate turnout of 67.14 percent. But the history was still to be created. Three days later, on 10 February 2015, the “Broom” of AAP swept the Delhi polls. The AAP registered a slam-bang victory by grabbing 67 seats of the available 70. The favorite BJP was compressed to be restricted to as minimal as three seats, while Congress and the rest were crushed to ashes, accounting for none. The chief and the CM candidate of AAP, Arvind Kejriwal himself won from the New Delhi assembly constituency with a margin of more than twenty-six thousand votes. He defeated the debutant Nupur Sharma of BJP and veteran Congress leader Kiran Walia. Kejriwal decided to take oath as the Chief Minister of Delhi on 14 February 2015 (a year after he had resigned from the same post), at the famous Ramlila Ground in Delhi.

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