Profile: Arvind Kejriwal
When leading Indian anti-corruption activist Arvind Kejriwal broke off from his mentor Anna Hazare to formally enter politics, many said he would find the going tough without the support of the veteran campaigner.
But, in the last fortnight, Mr Kejriwal has managed to remain in the public eye, levelling serious corruption charges against Law Minister Salman Khurshid and Robert Vadra, son-in-law of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi.
The activist and his supporters have hinted that their next expose will involve a top opposition politician.
Mr Kejriwal chose to launch his as yet unnamed political party on 2 October, the 143rd birthday of Mahatma Gandhi. He told supporters they would fight against the culture of "bribe-taking" and pledged to contest the next general elections due in 2014.
End Quote Arvind Kejriwal Anti-corruption activist
From today, the people are entering politics - corrupt leaders, count your days”
Explaining the need for a new party, he said the country was "being sold and all parties are guilty. We need to clean up the system".Backroom organiser
A former civil servant, Mr Kejriwal was awarded the Ramon Magsaysay award for Emergent Leadership, widely described as Asia's Nobel prize, for social work and initiatives to fight corruption in 2006.
Two years ago, he set up a group called India Against Corruption aimed at putting pressure on the government to bring about tough anti-corruption laws.
Mr Kejriwal, 44, came to the limelight last year as the backroom organiser of the anti-corruption campaign led by Mr Hazare.
While Mr Hazare, 73, was its recognised public face, Mr Kejriwal was a member of "Team Anna", which worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make the agitation a success.
As Mr Hazare went on hunger strike in April 2011 to demand stringent anti-corruption laws, in particular a law to create an ombudsman to deal with allegations of corruption, Mr Kejriwal was by his side, making speeches, briefing reporters and formulating strategy.
In August of last year, when Mr Hazare brought the government to its knees with his 12-day fast, Mr Kejriwal emerged as his top aide, rallying huge crowds, advising the veteran campaigner and participating in negotiations with the government.Loss of faith
Born in 1968 in the town of Hisar in the northern state of Haryana to middle-class parents, Mr Kejriwal graduated from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kharagpur with a degree in mechanical engineering.
After a brief stint working with the private sector Tata group, he joined the Indian civil services in 1992 as a revenue officer.
He took voluntary retirement from his job in 2006 and set up an NGO - Public Cause Research Foundation - to work full time to promote transparency in government and to create awareness about the Right to Information movement.
According to a report in last November's The Caravan magazine, Mr Kejriwal has "no personal story of extraordinary suffering at the hands of corruption".
"What led him to quit his job as a senior bureaucrat and become an activist wasn't anger or bitterness; it was the loss of his own faith in government after a decade in its service," it says.
In a draft vision document, released at the launch of the political party, Mr Kejriwal spoke of devolution of power to people, fighting corruption, containing inflation, right to reject, right to recall and ensuring fair prices for farm products as objectives of the party.
The activist also issued a warning to the current crop of Indian politicians.
"From today," he said, "the people are entering politics. Corrupt leaders, count your days."
Mr Kejriwal's protests have so far attracted small crowds and his opponents say it is unlikely that he will be able to translate the public anger over corruption into votes for his political party.
The next election - due in 2014 - is not far away and analysts say even if Mr Kejriwal and his party are unable to keep their promise to bring about "a complete political revolution", they would at least have the satisfaction of changing the political discourse in the country.