Call it beginner’s luck or outcome of sheer hard work, Arvind Kejriwal, 45, has always aced his biggest challenges in his first attempt.
AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal speaks at a public meeting in New Delhi. (AP photo)
From clearing the IIT entrance examination and cracking the UPSC to now a hours away from becoming Delhi’s 7th chief minister, his successes have been at the first shot.
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 and worked there 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 causes and worked for implementation of Right to Information Act at grass-roots level.
Read: Kejriwal rejects VIP culture, says no to bungalow
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 Magsaysay award had made him a known face, but he truly came into the limelight during the Jan Lokpal agitation led by one-time mentor Anna Hazare in 2011.
He was part of Team Anna, along with first India’s woman IPS officer Kiran Bedi, Prashant Bhushan and others.
While they were feeling “betrayed” by the government when it rejected their draft of the jan lokpal, 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” and root out corruption.
A day before Arvind Kejriwal becomes Delhi's 7th CM, HT gives you the lowdown on the man who always achieves success in his first attempt.
Kejriwal decided to take a plunge into politics and formed the Aam Aadmi Party on November 26 last year, after a formal split of Team Anna.
Read: Kejriwal seeks continued support from alma mater
Many laughed at this move and 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.
Lt Governor Najeeb Jung will administer the oath of office and secrecy to Kejriwal Ramlila ground, the same venue from where he shot to fame during the jan lokpal agitation.
Read: Kejriwal, cabinet to take oath today in history-making event
Read: Kejriwal to take Metro to Ramlila Maidan
• Arvind Kejriwal's younger sister Ranjana Gupta arrives from Haridwar to attend the swearing-in ceremony.
• Public is advised to make maximum use of public transport, especially Delhi Metro: Delhi traffic police.
• After the swearing-in ceremony, Arvind Kejriwal will first go to Rajghat before heading for a cabinet meeting.
• Arvind Kejriwal will travel upto Barakhamba metro station and then head towards the venue for his swearing-in in a car.
• Kejriwal, Sisodia will take Metro from Kausambi, while other MLAs would be taking the metro from their respective constituencies.
• Around 1,600 Delhi policemen will guard the venue. CCTV cameras have been installed at 20+ locations for Arvind Kejriwal's oath-taking ceremony.
• 50,000 chairs have been brought for the people coming in. The ground which is likely to be packed can accommodate 1 lakh people.
• Crowds gather at Ramlila Maidan, spruced up, decorated with fresh flowers and potted plants for @ArvindKejriwal's swearing-in