The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) saw a resounding victory in the Delhi Assembly elections winning 62 out of 70 seats and Arvind Kejriwal coming back to power. The BJP won only 8 seats, which was more than double of what it had won in 2015.
The BJP had led an aggressive, communal and divisive campaign on the grounds of religion in the face of massive anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests in the capital.
While students of Jamia Millia Islamia University were attacked by the Delhi police inside their campus and students of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) were attacked by people from outside their campus, the Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre had dubbed these students as “tukde tukde gang”.
As the women of Shaheen Bagh took to the streets, protesting day and night, making the area the epicentre of anti-CAA protests, BJP leaders campaigning in Delhi, including home minister Amit Shah, made communal remarks against them in a bid to consolidate the Hindu vote. While AAP concentrated on bijli, paani and shiksha, the BJP’s rhetoric was Hindutva. From “goli maaro” to “current” for Shaheen Bagh, BJP’s campaign often used hate speech.
With AAP coming back to power, there were puns galore in headlines on Wednesday morning. The Telegraph, know to be a vocal critic of the Modi government, went with “Currentjriwal” taking a dig at Shah’s comments.
Times of India called Arvind Kejriwal “Bullet-Proof In Delhi” taking on the “goli maaro” slogans.
Here’s a look at what the major English dailies said about AAP’s victory.
Among the Hindi dailies, Dainik Jagran went with the headline “Fir Aap Ki Hui Dilli” which loosely translates to Delhi has become AAP’s again. Dainik Jagran said on its front page how the people of Delhi put their faith on the “development” that AAP had brought to Delhi.
Dainik Bhaskar went with a line from the Hanuman Chalisa which is also a pun on the word AAP — “Aapan Tej Samharo Aape” which translates to “only you can deliver from your own might”. The line from Hanuman Chalisa is also a reminder that AAP convenor Kejriwal is a follower of Lord Hanuman and even visited Delhi’s famous Hanuman Temple right after his victory was confirmed.
While Anandbazar Patrika called it the loss of divisive politics, Bartaman went with the headline “Dilli teo dublo BJP” which means “BJP drowns in Delhi as well”. Bartaman said that this verdict by the people was also a verdict towards the citizenship law.
The Delhi editions of both Malayala Manorama and Mathrubhumi, which had been covering the election campaign closely, devoted the lion’s share of their front pages to the results. Both newspapers also had huge, eye-catching cartoons accompanied by clever headlines. Manorama had a cartoon of Kejriwal as a cricketer using a broom to smack a lotus-illustrated ball over the boundary with the headline ‘AAP-TRICK’. The cricketing metaphors made their way to a mock scorecard as well, which said:
Aam Aadmi Party (Not out) 62*
BJP (Run out) 8
Congress (Clean-bowled) 0
Mathrubhumi depicted Kejriwal standing on what seemed like an urn flanked by brooms, holding up a placard saying ‘AAP KA MAGIC’. It also made some space for a photo of a dejected-looking Manoj Tiwari, Delhi BJP chief, who seemed to have shrunk in front of his rival’s impressive performance.
Both newspapers also devoted at least four pages to detailed coverage of the results, including photos and news about ‘Baby Kejriwal’, who had kept news cameras rapt on counting day.