Arvind Kejriwal (born 16 August 1968) is an Indian politician who is the Chief Minister of Delhi since February 2015. He previously served as Chief Minister from December 2013 to February 2014, stepping down after 49 days. He is the national convener of the Aam Aadmi Party. His party won the 2015 Delhi Assembly elections with a majority, obtaining 67 out of 70 assembly seats.
Kejriwal is a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur, and worked in the Indian Revenue Service as a Joint Commissioner of the Income Tax Department in New Delhi.
In 2006, Kejriwal was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay Award for Emergent Leadership recognising his involvement in the grassroots movement Parivartan using right-to-information legislation in a campaign against corruption. The same year, after resigning from the IRS, he donated his Magsaysay award money as a corpus fund to found the Public Cause Research Foundation, a non-governmental organisation (NGO).
In 2012, he launched the Aam Aadmi Party, and the party won in the 2013 Delhi Legislative Assembly election. Following the election, he took office as the Chief Minister of Delhi on 28 December 2013. He resigned 49 days later, on 14 February 2014, stating he did so because of his minority government’s inability to pass his proposed anti-corruption legislation due to a lack of support from other political parties.
On 14 February 2015, he was sworn in as Chief Minister for a second term after his party’s victory in the Delhi Assembly election.
In 1995, Arvind married Sunita, a 1993-batch IRS officer. She took voluntary retirement in 2016 as Commissioner of Income Tax in the Income Tax Appellate Tribunal.
The couple has two children. Kejriwal is a vegetarian and has been practising the Vipassana meditation technique for many years. He is diabetic.
Kejriwal joined the IRS as an Assistant Commissioner of Income Tax in 1995 after qualifying through the Civil Services Examination. In November 2000, he 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 three years. Failure to abide by that condition would require him to repay the salary given during the leave period. He rejoined in November 2002. According to Kejriwal, he was not given any posting for almost a year, and kept getting his salary without doing any work; so, after 18 months, he applied for leave without pay. For the next 18 months, Kejriwal was on sanctioned unpaid leave. In February 2006, he resigned from his position as Joint Commissioner of Income Tax in New Delhi. The Government of India claimed that Kejriwal had violated his original agreement by not working for three years. Kejriwal said that his 18 months of work and 18 months of unpaid absence amounted to the stipulated three-year period during which he could not resign and that this was an attempt to malign him due to his involvement with the Indian anti-corruption movement. The dispute ran for several years until, in 2011, it was resolved when he paid his way out of the Service with the help of loans from friends. Kejriwal paid ₹ 927,787 as dues, but stated that this should not be considered as an admission of fault.
After joining politics, Kejriwal claimed in 2013 that he had chosen public service over earning crores as an Income Tax Commissioner. This led to a controversy, with the IRS association pointing out that he has never been promoted to the rank of Commissioner of Income Tax.