The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday registered an unprecedented political victory, winning 67 out of 70 seats in the Delhi Assembly, and 54.2% of the vote share.
In the process, it practically steamrolled more established opponents Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress, with the former managing a paltry 3 seats, down 90% from its tally of 31 seats in the 2013 elections. The Congress, which won 9 seats in the previous elections, was wiped out in the February 7 elections this year, failing to win even a single seat.
AAP co-founder Arvind Kejriwal will on February 14 take the oath of office at the Ram Lila Maidan as Delhi’s chief minister at for the second time, exactly one year after he resigned as CM after a 49 day-tenure to protest opposition from the BJP and Congress to tabling the Jan Lokpal Bill. The party will decide on Wednesday if the rest of the cabinet will also be sworn in along with Kejriwal.
In his first comments after the lanslide win, Kejriwal described it as "a victory for truth and honesty".
"You have done a wonder. When you are on the path of truth, all the forces of universe come together to help you. I salute the people of Delhi. It's a victory of truth," the 46-year-old former CM said in his first reactions to the numbers.
The results were a shocker for the BJP in particular, which had thrown everything it had, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, into a bare-knuckled campaign that often degenerated into name-calling. The loss was particularly surprising given the party’s showing in 2104’s mid-year Lok Sabha elections when it swept all seven seats in Delhi.
Late in the morning, however, as the trends solidified, Prime Minister Modi called Kejriwal to offer him his congratulations.
The AAP win also comes on the back of almost a year of a suspended Assembly – the party used the time to regroup, rejuvenate and campaign relentlessly below the radar of mainstream political parties. The BJP, in particular, did not even have a chief ministerial candidated until the 11th hour, bringing in former Kejriwal compatriot Kiran Bedi.