From a small-time Congress worker to Delhi’s law minister, the political journey of Jitender Singh Tomar has truly been a rags to riches story.
For years, Tomar had been a point man for SC Vats, a former Congress legislator from north Delhi, and used to ensure that his office ran smoothly. He was also Vats’s Man Friday.
But, that was not what he aimed for. Tomar wanted to a be legislator like his mentor Vats and thought that having a law degree will help. He got a law degree, now being termed fake, but was unable to climb the cramped Congress party ladder.
In his journey in the political space, the biggest turning point came when his old friend, Rajesh Garg, now a critic of Arvind Kejriwal, suggested him to join the nascent Aam Aadmi Party before the 2013 assembly elections and seek a ticket from Tri Nagar in north Delhi.
Sensing opportunity, Tomar joined the rookie party and got the ticket as the party did not have any formidable candidate against senior BJP leader Nand Kishore Garg in the segment.
Tomar lost by less than 3,000 votes but cemented his place in the AAP.
He was the main logistical person for Arvind Kejriwal's election from Varanasi against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and party insiders say that his quick networking skills impressed the AAP chief.
From then on, there was no looking back for Tomar.
He turned out to be party’s main strategist and got a go-ahead to contest from Tri Nagar more than six months before the February 2015 polls. He won hands down against Nand Kishore Garg this time.
Luck favoured him again when it came to the selection of the Delhi cabinet. Kejriwal was reluctant to have Somnath Bharati, once considered close to AAP co-founder-turned-rebel Prashant Bhushan, as his law minister.
So Kejriwal picked Tomar, who became Delhi’s youngest law minister at the age of 48. The chief minister stood by him when his law degree was challenged in the high court and claimed that he had done nothing wrong.
Tomar, now a minister in the AAP government, was arrested on Tuesday on charges of allegedly submitting a forged law degree while filing his nomination for the 2015 assembly polls. He had denied all charges.