AAP supporters outside its party office in Navi Mumbai on Tuesday. (Photo: Narendra Vaskar)
Top leaders of the ruling Maha Vikas Aghadi government — the Shiv Sena, the Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress — hailed the Aam Aadmi Party’s resounding victory in Delhi Assembly elections, with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray calling it a victory of ‘Jan Ki Baat’ over ‘Mann Ki Baat’.
The AAP, in a near-repeat performance of 2015, won in 62 constituencies with a voting percentage of 53.57, while the BJP got eight seats with vote share of 38.51 per cent, according to the ECI. The Congress drew a blank for the second successive Assembly elections in Delhi, results for which were declared Tuesday.
In an apparent dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly radio programme, Thackeray said, “The people have shown that the ‘Jan Ki Baat’, and not ‘Mann Ki Baat’, will work in the country.”
The BJP-led Centre, the Sena chief said, had used the entire machinery and might in the Delhi polls, but failed to outmuscle the AAP. “The BJP had also roped in all the tallest leaders of the party in the campaigning, called Arvind Kejriwal terrorist and attempted to divert the attention of voters from local issues to international issues. Still, the BJP could not defeat the Kejriwal,” he added.
Union Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javadekar and BJP MP Parvesh Verma had called the Delhi chief minister a terrorist during campaigning.
“The people of Delhi have firmly stood behind the honest man who undertook development. They have also shown their faith in the democracy. The Delhi voters have broken the illusion of we (BJP) are the nationalists, and those opposing us are anti-nationals,” Thackeray added.
Claiming that the “series of BJP’s defeats” will not stop now, NCP chief Sharad Pawar said, “You have seen what happened in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. I don’t think this series of BJP’s defeat will stop now.” Pawar also congratulated Arvind Kejriwal for his victory.
Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan, meanwhile, said the people of Delhi had rejected the BJP’s “style of politics” that focussed on Shaheen Bagh protests and communal issues rather than the people’s staple “roti, kapda and makaan”.
Complimenting Kejriwal for the “stunning” victory, Chavan said, “Kejriwal did not indulge in Modi ‘bashing’ and any verbal spat. He did not abuse Modi, as others did. He quietly worked for the development of Delhi despite the odds he faced. On the other hand, the BJP tried to polarise Delhi on religious grounds and by bringing in CAA. BJP’s policies backfired as the party suffered a crushing defeat,” he said.
Referring to Congress’s poor show in the crucial election, Chavan said, “Congress was expecting to reach double-digit mark. But finishing with nothing reflects badly on the party’s efforts... I believe there should have been an open alliance between the AAP and the Congress in Delhi. The party made a mistake by not aligning (with AAP).”
- With ENS, Pune