Manmohan, Rajnath extend greetings; CII hopes for industry-friendly initiatives; Bollywood jubilant
Political opponents buried their differences and joined other sections of society, including the film industry and India Inc. to congratulate the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as it took charge of governance in Delhi on Saturday.
While politicians were guarded in their congratulatory messages, most others articulated hope in the “transformational politics” that the AAP has come to represent in public discourse. For the Congress, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh took the lead; calling up the new Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal to extend best wishes and support as he took on new responsibilities.
A couple of young Congress members joined Dr. Singh in congratulating Mr. Kejriwal; albeit via micro-blogging site Twitter. While Navin Jindal extended best wishes, Union Minister of State for Communications Milind Deora said that he shared something common with Mr. Kejriwal who sang at his swearing-in ceremony. “So I’m not the only musician-politician around! Jugalbandi,’’ he tweeted; inviting the new CM to a duet.
Congratulating Mr. Kejriwal, Bharatiya Janata Party president Rajnath Singh hoped the AAP and the Congress would together provide a stable government to Delhi and live up to the expectations of the people. Party colleague Sushma Swaraj took to Twitter to congratulate him.
Mr. Kejriwal’s singing became a topic for discussion among some politicians on Twitter with Biju Janata Dal’s Baijayant Jay Panda quipping: “Is it true that, other than Gandhiji, Indian political party leaders who sang in public have had dismal track records?!’’
For India Inc., the Confederation of Indian Industry said it was confident the new government would be industry-friendly and would strengthen Delhi’s pre-eminent position both economically and socially.
CII in its statement said it looked forward to helping make the Capital a services hub and preferred destination for investors.
Individually, industrialists Vijay Mallya and Anand Mahindra tweeted. Describing Mr. Kejriwal’s ascendancy as a defining moment in Indian democracy, Mr. Mallya said: “True power of the people manifests itself.” Mr. Mahindra through multiple tweets said: “Many countries still struggle to define democracy; our remarkable country has voted into power in Delhi a party standing for honesty and humility… No matter what your political persuasion, we have to admit something transformational is happening…This is a brave experiment that India should rightfully take global centre stage for… Time to suspend cynicism and give it a chance?”
While activist Swami Agnivesh saw the change as both spiritual and political, some Bollywood stars were exuberant. “It’s all happening… new beginning… My city is about to change,” tweeted Neha Dhupia while Anushka Sharma hoped he achieves all that he has set out to without any obstacles. Atul Kulkarni got into a debate on Twitter on AAP’s politics and Kabir Bedi — after congratulating the party and its leader on forming the first non-BJP, non-Congress government in Delhi — said: “Amazing achievement”