AAP takes Delhi Delhi 2020

Aftershocks of a verdict

AAP supporters celebrate outside the party office in New Delhi on Tuesday.  

The flood of congratulations that poured in for the Aam Aadmi Party from across the country did more than underscore the sweeping Delhi mandate. It also reflected relief and hope in equal measure. There was relief that the BJP could be defeated and hope that this could be a turning point for the Opposition.

For the Janata Parivar, which had announced its intention two months ago to merge six of its constituents into a single party, the AAP victory, being seen as a sign of a change in the national mood, has come as a ray of hope. Bihar will be the BJP’s immediate challenge as Assembly elections are due in the State before the end of the year. The elections could be held much earlier if the Janata Dal(U) fails to resolve its internal crisis swiftly.

“The Delhi elections saw the entire BJP and the might of the Central government pitted against the people,” JD(U) president Sharad Yadav told The Hindu. “That is why the AAP’s victory is so significant and for this I congratulate Arvind Kejriwal and the AAP.”

This was a watershed moment, he continued, as it signalled the start of the “golbandi,” or isolation, of the BJP in politics. He told the Opposition parties “that the time had arrived for them to come together.”

‘Vote against vendetta’

This excitement among Opposition parties was articulated across the country. From the east came West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s tweet saying it was a defeat of “the arrogant,” a vote against “political vendetta” and for those “spreading hate among people.”

From the south, DMK leader Kanimozhi, who seems to have clearly forgiven Mr. Kejriwal for including her on a list of corrupt politicians a year ago, reacted in Chennai: “One major thing is that the country still thinks secularism is very important.”

From the west, the Shiv Sena, the BJP’s ally in Maharashtra, joined in the Modi-bashing. Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, smarting from the shabby treatment meted out to his party, held Prime Minister Narendra Modi responsible for the BJP’s defeat in Delhi, adding that the Delhi “tsunami” was much bigger than the Modi “wave”. The people, he said, had already grown tired of the current political situation.

And from the north, the former Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, whose National Conference, just helped the Congress win a Rajya Sabha seat from the State, tweeted his congratulations to the AAP and encouragement to his ally: “… if there is lesson for the #Congress in this it is that Modi & BJP aren’t unbeatable if you take the fight to them. Don’t wait for mistakes…”

The AAP’s historic win in Delhi could well be a turning point for the Opposition, even though it comes barely nine months after the BJP’s massive Lok Sabha victory.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 6:17:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/delhi-assembly/aftershocks-of-a-verdict/article6879841.ece

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