Kejriwal will surely meet people’s expectations, says his Professor

On a day Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Delhi, over a thousand kilometres away, his alma mater — the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT-KGP) in Paschim Medinipore dis-trict of West Bengal — remembered him as a sober young man good at studies.

S.K. Som, professor at the Mechanical Engineering department, IIT-KGP, said Mr. Kejriwal was a student of B.Tech, Mechanical Engineering, from 1985 to 1989.

Asked whether he felt that Mr. Kejriwal would live up to the people’s expectations, Prof. Som said: “Of course, he will. From what I have understood about his character, his determination… he will meet their expectations.”

“As a student, he was very well behaved and sober,” Prof. Som said, adding that Mr. Kejriwal’s political ascendancy was a matter for pride not only for him but also for the entire IIT-KGP family.

Mr. Kejriwal’s association with the institute did not end with graduation — it awarded him with the distinguished alumnus award in 2009, the professor said.

Recounting his last meeting with his student at the Pan-IIT Conference in the city in 2012, Prof. Som said that when Mr. Kejriwal learnt that he was present at the event, he came and met him. “He spoke about the times he spent at the institute as a student and his batchmates,” he said.

According to the professor, Mr. Kejriwal’s ascendancy in Indian politics will encourage other students, though he said one should not think that the situation would change overnight.

Students upbeat

Among the students of the institute, his feat has generated much enthusiasm.

Huddled in the Radhakrishnan Hall of the institute, about a dozen students remained glued to the television, watching him take oath at Ramlila Maidan in Delhi.

“We are very happy today. Most of the students support Mr. Kejriwal primarily for his fight against corruption and because he is an alumnus,” said Atal Ashutosh Sharma, a second year student of Mining Engineering.

Mr. Sharma was one of the few students who campaigned for the AAP in the Assembly elections in Delhi.

Encouraged by the party’s achievement in the capital, volunteers of the AAP in the State said the party would undertake a membership drive in the city. “People from across the State have shown interest in joining the party. So we have decided to organise this drive,” said AAP volunteer Mukul Keshari.

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