|Kejriwal hugs wife Sunita, IRS|
According to reports, Arvind and Sunita started liking each other when they were undergoing training at National Academy of Direct Taxes at Nagpur in 1994. Kejriwal’s straightforwardness is what had impressed Sunita, according to media reports published earlier.
Sunita’s family belongs to Delhi whereas Kejriwal hails from a Haryana town called Hisar. Their families had no problem, and the couple happily got engaged in August 1994 when they were still at the Nagpur Academy. After a few months of courtship, they tied the knot in November, 1995. And after completion of the training, the IRS-IT couple got posted in Delhi.
They have a daughter, Harshita and son, Pulkit. Harshita is now studying in IIT-Delhi.
For Sunita, the biggest challenge has been to strike a balance – being the wife of an activist who continuously takes on the high and mighty of the corridors and also serving as a civil servant. That Sunita prefers to remain low-key has helped her survive in the service. During the Anna movement against corruption, Kejriwal and his men were targeting the entire system including the top union ministers like finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. It’s the finance ministry which controls the IRS cadre. Sunita survived though there were tensions at times.
Sunita is known as an honest and competent officer. For several years, when Kejriwal’s activism rocked the establishment, she has been on a deputation at the Serious Frauds Investigation Office (SFIO) outside of her cadre posting. She also faced accusation of getting posted only in Delhi and NCR.
Also, when Kejriwal in a radio advertisement in November 2013, had claimed that he could have made crores of rupees as an income-tax commissioner, the IRS Association objected to his statement saying it was “unnecessarily damaging the image of this fine service” while reminding him that his wife was still a member of the department.
Mrs Kejriwal avoids media interviews and does not come to Aam Aadmi Party office as it could be seen as a violation of conduct rules. According to reports, on the day of AAP’s incredible victory, it was Arvind Kejriwal who had dragged her to the party office where she was seen with her folded hands, acknowledging the cheers of thousands of AAP supporters.
The minutes after the Tuesday’s event, the BoI tweeted Sunita Kejriwal’s photo. After all, this IRS officer will now be Delhi’s first lady.