In one of the most stunning comebacks in Indian political history, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) of Arvind Kejriwal Tuesday scored a landslide win in Delhi, delivering to the BJP its first electoral defeat since its historic Lok Sabha triumph and reducing the Congress, that had ruled the capital for 15 years till 2013, to a virtual nonentity.
An emotional Kejriwal, 46, who founded the AAP only in 2012, became teary eyed as his colleagues repeatedly hugged him and lifted him in the air at his house at Kaushambi in Ghazibad bordering Delhi. Outside, activists kept a steady chant of "Paanch Saal, Kejriwal!
Addressing thousands of cheering supporters at the AAP office in central Delhi, Kejriwal described it as "a victory for truth and honesty" and said an Aam Aadmi Party government would work in a manner that both the poor and the rich would be proud of Delhi.
AAP Convenor Arvind Kejriwal. Photo: PTI
The 46-year-old then introduced his wife Sunita to the frenzied crowds chanting "Paanch Saal Kejriwal!" slogans and waving hundreds of party flags and brooms -- the AAP election symbol.
"This is my wife," he said, putting his arm around her shoulders. And as she folded her hands in greeting triggering a roar, he added: "I would have never been able to work if she had not supported me."
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As Kejriwal made his brief comments, giving due credit to the AAP's victory to the voters and his activists, he said: "This is not a victory of the AAP. This is a victory for truth and honesty."
Kejriwal also asked party workers not to get carried away by the mandate and not become "arrogant".
"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 Delhi Chief Minister said.
Poll mandate against offensive, negative politics: AAP
AAP described its electoralwin in Delhi as a "victory of honesty" and said the mandate was against "ignorant, offensive and negative politics".
Urging the supporters to maintain restraint, the AAP leaders said the party will not leave its "decency" and will not tease those who lost.
"It is the victory of honesty," said AAP leader Manish Sisodia told reporters as results showed huge victory for the party.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supporters celebrate the AAP's victory in the state assembly elections outside the party's headquarters in New Delhi on February 10, 2015. Photo: AFP
Another leader Sanjay Singh, while dedicating the party's success to its workers, said it was a mandate against "ignorant, offensive and negative politics".
Asserting that "We will not leave our decency," he told an exuberant crowd of supporters, "Even after our victory we have to remain humble and unified. We are not going to indulge inteasing or letting others down. We have led our campaign in a humble manner and will continue doing so."
Striking a similar note, another leader Ashish Khetan, a key strategist behind the party's dramatic turnaround, said the party will work on "every single point promised in its manifesto".
The leaders made the remarks amid loud cheers of "Duniya Dekh rai hai kya, Delhi jeet rahe hain hum".