Some newly-elected MLAs sat on the ground. Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia, along with 26 others, were introduced “as Aam Aadmi Party candidates to have won in the Delhi elections”. Even some of those who had lost were brought onstage.
At the Jantar Mantar road, packed with hundreds of volunteers and supporters, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Wednesday evening literally sought to live up to its name.
A large number of people, wearing the trademark party caps and waving flags, climbed trees, walls and stood on speaker boxes to get a glimpse of several ordinary people who have risen from their midst and suddenly become famous by defeating political stalwarts.
Even the elderly were seen dancing at the AAP victory rally. Hordes of women and children carrying bouquets and placards, showing caricature of Arvind Kejriwal sweeping streets, kept pouring in even after sundown. At the other end of the same street, only a handful of Anna Hazare supporters had gathered to support his fast for Jan Lokpal bill in Maharashtra’s Ralegan Siddhi.
People cheered when Shahnaz Hindustani and Kumar Vishwas recited couplets. They cheered even more when AAP leaders took the opportunity to get back at leaders of BJP and Congress.
While a giant poster on the dais read Imaandar rajniti ki shuruaat, chants of “Aam Aadmi jeet gaya” and patriotic Bollywood songs reverberated in the air.
The crowds comprised working professionals, housewives, students, civil service aspirants, auto-rickshaw drivers, cycle-rickshaw pullers, businessmen and NRIs.
Subhas Singh (30), an automobile mechanic, said, “When I used to wear the party cap, people from other parties ridiculed me but now I feel happy.”
Prasun Pandey (27), a civil services aspirant from Uttar Pradesh said, “Arvind ji has given us hope. Mahendra Kumar (73), a retired bank employee said, “”I support AAP because they are honest. I have requested them to contest in Haryana.”
With inputs from Vineet Upadhyay