The election of Arvind Kejariwal as the seventh chief minister of Delhi, offers hope for the dignity of the common man and the promise that Indian politics may see reforms. Kejariwal, who had no previous political experience, successfully borrowed the platform founded by Anna Hazare to fight corruption. He organized and mobilized the mass upsurge into a political party, Aam Adami Party, which performed well in Delhi’s assembly election and has now become a symbol of the common man’s fight against corruption. Although Kejariwal had previously worked as a RTI activist, his association with Anna Hazare’s movement afforded him a national image and he convinced the electorate that the formation of a political party and gaining power through elections were essential if progress were to be made.
Although he successfully campaigned on the issues of water, electricity and other basic necessities what appealed most to the electorate was his commitment to end the “bribe culture” that is so prevalent in the Indian government bureaucracy. For example, he has eliminated the use of red beacon lights and sirens on VIP vehicles.
Although working with the support of an entrenched party like Congress is not an easy task, focusing on the people’s agenda will provide Kejariwal with sufficient leverage to allow him to carry out his programs which are designed to benefit the common man. He also must remain aware of the campaigns that will be waged against him by opposition parties. Kejariwal will be facing many challenges which hopefully he will handle skillfully.