Long before he graced television screens as Delhi’s new Chief Minister, [I saw] Arvind Kejriwal as one of the persons with Anna Hazare—his aide and another protesting activist. However, Kejriwal was much more than a mere activist.
The National convener of political party Aam Aadmi Party was a civil servant before beginning his political career. Once known as the muffler man with broom, Kejriwal has since his political debut changed greatly.
Delhi CM will be turning a year older on August 16. Ahead of his birthday, let’s take a look at the timeline of Arvind Kejriwal’s transformation from a civil servant to a minister.
Early days of career
Kejriwal was born to parents Gobind Ram Kejriwal and Gita Devi. Gobind Ram was an electrical engineer who graduated from Birla Institute of Technology in Mesra. Undoubtedly, Arvind followed his father and became a mechanical engineer. He scored an All-India Rank of 563 in IIT-JEE entrance and studied at IIT Kharagpur.
Kejriwal worked with Tata Steel initially. However, resigned in 1992, having taken leave of absence to study for the Civil Services Examination. He joined the Indian Revenue Service (IRS) as an Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax in 1995, after qualifying through the exam.
Messy exit from IRS
Kejriwal in 2000 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 two years. Failure to abide by the same would require him to repay the salary given during the leave period.
However, the politician alleged he was not posted for 18 months and kept getting pay and after 18 months he applied for leave without pay which was sanctioned as well.
Reportedly, when he resigned from his post as Joint Commissioner of Income Tax in 2006, he invited wrath from the government who claimed he hadn’t kept his end of bargain.
Although Kejriwal argues that 18 months without posting and 18 months of unpaid absence amounted to be the stipulated period, the government did not have it. The dispute ended with him having to pay almost Rs 9 lac 30 thousand to government in 2011.
Establishment of Aam Aadmi Party
Arvind Kejriwal had since his days as IRS official been actively engaging in activism and after his brief stint Jan Lokpal movement and criticism that can’t dictate terms to the elected representatives. As a result, Kejriwal and other activists decided to enter politics and contest elections and thus in 2012 launched Aam Aadmi Party – a party of common public.
However, the creation of AAP caused a rift between Kejriwal and Hazare. And in 2013, he contested his first polls. He was elected as Delhi CM and resigned after 49 days.
He later came to power twice during elections.