Arvind Kejriwal’s Journey from Activist to Voice of the Aam Aadmi

Arvind Kejriwal, now third-time victorious in the Delhi Assembly elections, has become a force to be reckoned with.

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Arvind Kejriwal, now third-time victorious in the Delhi Assembly elections, has become a force to be reckoned with – elevating with him the significance of the seemingly ‘insignificant’ common man.

Clad in his iconic cap and muffler, Kejriwal earned his fame as the aam aadmi’s leader and has often fought for basic rights, transparency in government bodies, and against corruption – echoing the common folk’s sentiments.

Born on 16 August 1968, in Haryana’s Bhiwani, he graduated in Mechanical Engineering from IIT Kharagpur.

In 1995, he joined Indian Revenue Services as Joint Commissioner of Income Tax after qualifying the Civil Services Examination. While working, he started participating in the anti-corruption movement in India. He formed an organisation called Parivartan with Manish Sisodia which focused on RTI and participatory governance.

He quit his job in 2006 to give more time to Kabira – an NGO he formed in 2005 – which worked for the same issues as Parivartan. He even won the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay award for emergent leadership.

He fought tirelessly for the enactment of the Jan Lokpal Bill.

Mentored by Anna Hazare, Kejriwal slowly became the face of the anti-corruption movement in India.

In 2011, he opposed the Jan Lokpal Bill drafted by the government. He was arrested with Hazare and other leaders while protesting. Within a year, he formally launched the Aam Aadmi Party – on 26 November 2012.

He contested against then Chief Minister of Delhi and Congress stalwart Sheila Dikshit in 2013 and defeated her by 22,000 votes.

He became the second youngest Chief Minister of Delhi after forming a coalition government with the Congress. 

But he resigned after a year as he failed to table the Jan Lokpal Bill in the Parliament. He went on to contest against Narendra Modi in Varanasi in the 2014 Lok Sabha Polls.

In the 2015 elections, AAP had a landslide victory, winning 67 out of the 70 seats. He became the Chief Minister for the second time, and the rest, as they say, is history.

From Mohalla clinics, a major boost to education, to free electricity, water and WiFi, the national capital saw it all under Kejriwal’s governance. 

But Kejriwal's life and political career haven’t been only positives. He has had his fair share of controversies and allegations. Despite having 10 criminal charges and a total of 47 charges, Arvind Kejriwal went on to win the Delhi elections for the third time.

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