Monday, December 09, 2013

Big day for the common man Arvind Kejriwal downs Sheila Dikshit by 25,000 votes, AAP decimates Congress, checkmates BJP in Delhi BJP trots to victory in MP, Rajasthan, scrapes through in Delhi, Chhattisgarh

New Delhi: The surprising performance of the newly-formed Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) from those who led the Lok Pal movement under Anna Hazare in 2011 in the Delhi assembly election, where they emerged as the main opposition party has overshadowed the overwhelming victories of the BJP under Shivraj Singh Chauhan and Vasundhara Raje Scindia in Rajasthan on a day that left the Congress outflanked in the four main Hindi heartland states and where the BJP has picked up enough laurels despite the party scraping through in Chhattisgarh and in Delhi. It is the day of the AAP that Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra contemptuously nicknamed as “Mango People (Aam Aadmi)”. There could not have been a sweeter revenge of the political greenhorns. AAP’s president Arvind Kejriwal dared chief minister Sheila Dikshit and won an astounding victory in the New Delhi constituency by a margin of 25,000 votes. The emergence of AAP has put traditional political parties like the Congress and the BJP, which refused to take note of the newcomer on notice and revealed a new mood of anger and defiance of the national capital’s voters, which could have ripple effects in other cities and parts of the country as well. AAP has won 28 of the 70 seats in the Delhi assembly with the BJP only a little way ahead with 32 seats. Congress has been relegated to the single digit tally with eight seats. Though BJP is the official winner in Delhi because it has emerged as the single largest party, it does not have the magical figure of 36 which would give it the simple majority, its success has been overshadowed by the electrifying debut of AAP which is placed second. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan literally had a cakewalk despite the prepoll impression that he had a tough battle on hand, fighting for his second victory as chief minister and a third term for the party. The BJP has now won the assembly election in Madhya Pradesh under Uma Bharati in 2003, and under Chauhan in 2008 and in 2013. While the BJP had won 171 seats in 2003, its tally came down to 140 in 2008 but it has improved dramatically to an impressive 156 on Sunday. It was clearly a Chauhan victory in Madhya Pradesh though Modi has campaigned there. BJP leaders and cadres in the state consider the party’s victory in the assembly polls as a prelude to party’s victory in the Lok Sabha polls next year which will make Modi the prime minister. Despite whispers in the media about Chauhan challenging Modi in terms of being a successful BJP chief minister, Chauhan made it clear that his party’s victory in MP is a stepping stone for the party and Modi next year. Vasundhara Raje Scindia’s romped home to victory with a record four-fifths majority by winning 162 seats in a House of 200. The speculation whether the Modi magic was at work in BJP’s victory in Rajasthan will rage for long but it seems to be clear that it was a victory of the BJP and Scindia, and Modi has its share in the victory. Raman Singh fighting for his third term in Chhattisgarh got a scare with the Congress closing in on his heels, by remaining just two seats ahead of the Congress party in the state. In Delhi as well as in Chhattisgarh, the BJP had to be content with being the official victor.

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