Like thousands of students who come to the National Capital every year for preparing for the civil services examination, Sanjeev Jha too boarded a New Delhi-bound train from Madhubani town in Bihar in 2001. Although he couldn’t become part of the coveted executive branch, he is now part of the legislature.
“There was a time when my family thought that I was headed nowhere,” says Jha, who used to work as a finance manager in Gurgaon until 2011. “They put pressure on me to get married, thinking that would put my life back on track.”
During the course of his involvement with Arvind Kejriwal’s movement, his family began backing him. After he won the Assembly election, he was so busy with hectic political developments and meetings that he couldn’t talk to his family member for three days.
Jha had been involved in social service even before joining the India Against Corruption movement. Jha, who was staying at Mukherjee Nagar in north Delhi — one of the hubs for IAS aspirants in the National Capital — was moved by the civic issues of the nearby Burari village and decided to do social work there. During the IAC movement, he mobilised hundreds of youth under the auspices of Yuva Manch.
His rigorous involvement in the area’s social work earned him recognition and the AAP ticket.
“Initially, I was chosen along with 41 applicants,” says Jha, who has declared assets worth Rs 9.85 lakh. “In the candidate selection interview, I was grilled about my intention to do good work, my vision and my ability to stay sincere to my constituents. They also gauged the kind of support I had from the constituents. The selection committee shortlisted four of us before finally giving me the ticket.”
“Once the results came out, my father told me that I should do whatever makes me happy, but I should stay honest and fulfil people’s expectations,” he says.