Delhi polls: Arvind Kejriwal on a hat-trick2 min read . Updated: 11 Feb 2020, 12:47 PM IST
- In 2013, he wrested the seat from the then CM Sheila Dikshit
- In 2015, AAP won 67 of 70 seats
New Delhi: “I leave the decision up to the people of Delhi if they think of me as their son, brother or a terrorist?" Delhi chief minister and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) national convener Arvind Kejriwal had said on 30 January.
On Tuesday, Delhi seemed to be going his way for the third time, with early trends giving AAP a comfortable lead in 50 seats.
Kejriwal had a tough job of leading his party in a high-stakes election which saw a three-cornered contest between the AAP, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress.
Having stormed to power in 2015, winning 67 of 70 seats, the 2020 polls are a matter of prestige for AAP as it has taken on two national parties banking on the work done by the state government. Also, it is fighting the BJP which has had high notes of nationalism playing out in its election campaign.
Since the elections were announced on 6 January, Kejriwal had addressed a series of townhall and public meetings and conducted roadshows in almost all the 70 assembly constituencies.
AAP fought the election showcasing the work done by the government in electricity, water, health and education. Unlike its competitors, Kejriwal was the clear face of the party going into the 2020 election.
“I am glad cheap electricity has become part of national political discourse. Delhi has shown that it is possible to provide free/cheap electricity. Delhi has shown that it also gets you votes. 21st century India must have 24x7 power available to all at cheap rates," Kejriwal wrote on Twitter on Monday.
In 2013, he wrested the seat from the then chief minister Sheila Dikshit by over 20,000 votes. AAP formed the government for 49 days with the support from the Congress, and Kejriwal became the chief minister for the first time. The government was dissolved after the party didn’t get enough support to bring a law against corruption.
After a decisive win in 2015, Kejriwal is looking at retaining his seat this time around. Bharatiya Janata Party's Sunil Yadav and Congress' Romesh Sabharwal are his close rivals in the constituency, which houses a large number of government employees.
Having its roots in the India Against Corruption movement, Kejriwal was among the founding members of the AAP in 2012. The party, which is less than a decade old, has since then contested assembly elections in Delhi on three occasions, Lok Sabha elections in 2014 and 2019, and Punjab, Haryana and Goa polls.
A mechanical engineer from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, Kejriwal was an Indian Revenue Service officer with the Income Tax department before joining politics. The 51-year-old Kejriwal was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2006.