‘This is a win for bharat mata’, says Kejriwal after AAP sweeps Delhi
Kejriwal, thanked the city-state’s voters for choosing him as a “son”, a reference to his comments last month seeking votes as a son of Delhi, after Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pravesh Verma called the CM a terrorist.Updated: Feb 12, 2020 03:29 IST
“You are amazing… I love you,” chief minister Arvind Kejriwal said, blowing a kiss to an appreciative audience of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supporters at the party’s Deen Dayal Upadhyay Marg head office in central Delhi, during his victory speech after his party won 62 of the 70 assembly seats in Delhi.
Kejriwal, thanked the city-state’s voters for choosing him as a “son”, a reference to his comments last month seeking votes as a son of Delhi, after Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pravesh Verma called the CM a terrorist.
The chief minister also referenced the Hindu deity, Hanuman, and then set off to one of the city’s most popular temples to the deity to seek blessings; last week, he sang verses from the Hanuman chalisa (a hymn propitiating the deity) in an event.
“It [the victory] is a message that Delhi will vote for those who build schools, mohalla clinics, give cheap power, provide access to water and build roads… This is a new kind of politics and holds an auspicious message for the country. For us, once again, it will be a new journey,” said Kejriwal from a stage set up on the terrace of the party office, standing next to his wife, Sunita. Both are former Indian Revenue Service officers.
Some in the audience were reminded of Kejriwal’s victory speech at the party’s old office near the Hanuman Mandir in Connaught Place after a landslide win in the 2015 Assembly polls. Back then, he shared the stage with Sunita and introduced her to the crowd. On Tuesday, too, the chief minister introduced his wife to the crowd and mentioned that February 11 is her birthday.
“This victory has given birth to a new kind of politics. It is the politics of development… Only this kind of politics can take India ahead in the 21st century… It is not just Delhi’s victory but also a win of Bharat mata (Mother India),” said Kejriwal, who on Tuesday shared the stage with AAP’s Rajya Sabha MP, Sanjay Singh, and spokesperson, Raghav Chadha, who won from the Rajendra Nagar seat.
The reference to Hanuman and Bharat mata are significant. The BJP sought to make Hindutva and nationalism key ingredients of its messaging and Kejriwal , analysts say, managed to counter both with his own narrative.
In 2015, while he was admittedly “nervous” over a large mandate and the arrogance it could entail, on Tuesday, Kejriwal exuded confidence. He said, “I want to thank the families of Delhi who treated me as your son and voted for us… You have voted for a politics of revolution and we know we will make it happen.”
“This is the day of Lord Hanuman who has blessed the people of Delhi. We pray that Hanumanji keeps showing the right path to us so that we continue to serve people for the next five years.”
Praveen Rai, political analyst with the Centre for Study of Developing Societies, said: “During the poll campaign, we have seen Arvind Kejriwal taking all possible measures to ensure that the BJP did not succeed in portraying him as anti-Hindu, especially in the light of the Shaheen Bagh protests. He mentioned about his religious side last week. By doing so again on the day of results, he sent forward a message among voters that suggests how his religiosity is not limited to the polls, given that he has often accused the BJP of using religion for political gains.”