6:20 pm - Wednesday December 13, 2017

Praise for Arvind Kejriwal, dig at Narendra Modi: Uddhav’s editorial

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No rift in AAP: Mr. Arvind Kejriwal
No rift in AAP: Mr. Arvind Kejriwal

Mumbai – After a debut that registered above 9.0 on the political Richter scale, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi is receiving praise, even if occasionally grudging, from across the political spectrum.

“Kejriwal holds the key to Delhi’s power,” said Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray about AAP founder Arvind Kejriwal.

Not only did it push the incumbent Congress into a distant third place, the AAP even deprived the BJP of a majority in Delhi, underlining its potential to damage both of India’s two biggest parties.

The AAP’s giant win in Delhi has meant the BJP cannot claim that its prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, who campaigned extensively in the capital, has stirred the city.

Mr Thackeray, whose party is the BJP’s oldest ally, underlines that in an editorial in the Shiv Sena’s magazine today. “A strong young man called Kejriwal successfully fought a strong challenge from Congress and Narendra Modi,” he writes, warning, “this (AAP) challenge is not limited to Delhi. It’s a challenge for all political parties across the country.”

Mr Kejriwal and other AAP leaders said that the Delhi result allows them to be seen by voters as a viable option for the national election, due by May.  They said they will strategize now for how to expand.

After the Delhi results were declared yesterday, Omar Abdullah, chief minister of Jammu and Kashmir and a member of the ruling coalition at the Centre, tweeted, “Notes to self for 2014 never underestimate the underdog/newcomer with a fresh face and message.”

Rahul Gandhi, the vice-president of the Congress, admitted, “The Aam Aadmi Party involved a lot of non-traditional people and we will learn from that…”

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