BJP Routed In Delhi; End of "Modi Wave"?
10 February, 2015
India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was routed in the Delhi state elections after Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party or Commomn Man's Party (AAP) won 67 of the 70 assembly seats. BJP managed to win only three seats. India's main opposition Congress party failed to win even a single seat. Congress had ruled Delhi for 15 years until 2014.
It is the BJP's first setback since it triumphed in the 2014 general election. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has enjoyed huge popularity since taking office last year, winning a string of local elections and wooing international investors and world leaders.
Aam Aadmi Party was routed by the BJP in last May's general elections, months after the AAP made a spectacular debut in the 2013 Delhi elections.
The Aam Aadmi, led by former tax inspector Arvind Kejriwal campaigned on a platform of pro-poor polices and clean government.
After BJP came to power, social tensions had risen sharply in India as Hindu hardline groups tied to the BJP became more emboldened, rowing with Muslim and Christian minority groups over religious conversions. Christian groups have also sought greater police protection after a series of attacks on churches.
Even President Barack Obama warned during a visit last month that India could only realise its full potential if it practised religious tolerance.
It seems that BJP president Amit Shah's tactics of dividing and polarising socieity to win elections didn't pay off rich dividents in Delhi. Modi's charisma that won BJP so many elections in the past failed to impress the Delhi voters. Does it mean that the "Modi Wave" has finally subsided? Only time will tell.
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