BJP's aura of invincibility beginning to crumble: Pakistani daily

Islamabad: The victory of the AAP in the Delhi assembly elections serves as a repudiation of the BJP's "polarising" politics and the "aura of invincibility surrounding the BJP is beginning to crumble", a Pakistani daily said Wednesday.

That the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) "has now become more popular than ever shows not only how resonant the AAP's anti-corruption platform is, but is also a repudiation of the polarising BJP, which has divided the country (India) with its extreme brand of Hindu nationalism and neo-liberal economic policies", an editorial in the News International said Wednesday.

It added: "For the BJP, the defeat in Delhi serves as a symbol of its governance failures since assuming power at the centre."

The editorial appeared a day after the AAP triumphed in the Delhi assembly election, garnering a staggering 67 of the 70 assembly seats. The BJP got just three seats while the Congress failed to win even a single seat.

The daily said: "Ever since its landslide victory in the general elections last year, the BJP has been running on a platform of inevitability. It has presented itself as the only political party in India that can get things done..."

It said this tactic was successful enough for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to not only be competitive in the assembly elections in Jammu and Kashmir, but to also secure almost the entirety of the Hindu votes.

Now, following the loss in the Delhi elections, that image of the BJP lay in tatters, the News International said.

BJP's loss in the Delhi elections also has a more practical effect, as the party does not have a majority in the upper house of the Indian parliament, where seats are apportioned on the basis of victories in the states, according to the daily.

The editorial noted that the AAP's victory has shown that "the aura of invincibility surrounding the BJP is beginning to crumble" and predicted that doubts would be raised about its ability to compete in the all-important Bihar elections later this year.

However, the editorial warned of the danger of writing off the BJP too quickly.

"The AAP is not yet a national party and, though it enjoys tremendous support in pockets of India, it is not yet in a position to challenge the BJP. The Congress has become a mess and has never been at lower ebb in its history," the editorial said.

However, "the silver lining for those who want a more inclusive democracy in India is that for the first time in a year, the BJP can no longer present its divisive agenda as enjoying a broad mandate", the editorial said.

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