'Have faith in politics now'

Sanjeev Jha was one of many IAS aspirants who came from Bihar in 2000. He is now an Aam Aadmi Party MLA who wants to stand by his commitment to work for his constituency in Burari, located in the northern suburbs of Delhi.

“It is hard to imagine that Burari is part of Delhi,” Jha said. He pointed out infrastructure problems from substandard drains to lack of hospitals and poor transport connectivity. He has been living in a shared rental flat in Burari since January this year. ‘Assets: None; Occupation: Dependent on family and friends’ reads his profile on the website of his party. 

During Anna Hazare’s anti-graft movement, Jha left his job as a branch manager at a private investment firm in Delhi. “Soon I was actively involved in IAC (India Against Corruption) Yuva Manch,” he said.

“My parents thought that I was heading nowhere. There was a lot of pressure from home,” he added, explaining that his relationship with parents became strained as they were unhappy with him for his obsession with social service. 

He was earlier associated with an NGO Nav Pallav that provided skill-based training to slum children. 

“I got the party ticket in August-September,” Jha said. He did door-to-door campaigns and was encouraged with the response of voters. 

“I could feel people’s faith in politics coming back,” he said. He said his biggest challenge was the politics of vote bank. “Aaj ki politics thaikeydari se chalti hai (electoral politics is run by people who manipulate vote banks),” he said, pointing out the clout of land mafias operating in unauthorised colonies of Burari. The 33-year-old defeated the incumbent BJP MLA Shri Krishan by a margin of over 10,000 votes. 

“It is easy for me. I want to continue with my life the way it is going. I have slept at Jantar Mantar during Anna’s campaign,” Jha said on how he plans to challenge the prevalent “VIP culture in politics”. “I haven’t been home in the past two-three years,” Jha said. On whether his parents were happy after he won the Assembly elections, he replied in a soft voice, “Vidhayak kahan bane hai, hum toh abhi bhi jan sevak hai (I haven’t become an MLA, I am just a public servant).”

One of his elder brothers will attend his swearing-in ceremony. “My parents aren’t coming,” he said. 

Comments (+)