The 39-year-old Bharti was among the six ministers named Tuesday by Aam Admi Party (AAP) leader Arvind Kejriwal, who is set to take oath on Saturday as the Delhi chief minister.
"What a coincidence, just as the world celebrates Christmas, we too are happy and celebrating the news of Somnath Bharti being named a minister in Delhi," Jayant Lal, Bharti's maternal uncle, told IANS.
Lal said that Somnath, called Pappu at home, was hard-working and honest even as a child.
Somnath spent his childhood at Hisua Bazar in Nawada, about 100 km from state capital Patna.
Munni Lal, another resident of Hisua Bazar, recalled that he was a brilliant student.
"Somnath finished his Class 10 from a local government school. He went to Patna for his intermediate (Class 12)," Lal, who teaches in a local college and was acquainted with Somnath Bharti while he was a student, said.
Bharti studied at the Indian Institute of Technology in Delhi, and also studied law at Delhi University.
Bharti's childhood friend Mukesh Kumar said he felt proud that one among them had emerged as an icon for political change.
"We have distributed sweets, and plan a big welcome for him when he next visits. He will certainly inspire others here," Kumar said, recalling that Bharti would captain their cricket team.
Kumar, however, was not sure when the next visit would be.
Lal said Bharti's mother had shifted to Delhi to be with her son about 10 years ago, after retiring from a job in a local school.
--IANS (Posted on 25-12-2013)