New Delhi: In the year the creator of the ubiquitous yet speechless common man, RK Laxman, died, the real common man has found his voice through the common man’s party. The historic win of the Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi Assembly Election 2015 with a verdict that will ensure it will never have to abandon the seat of power, proves that the way the common man voted in this country so far has changed for good.
“It’s is the victory of none other than the aam aadmi (common man)” – is what could be heard throughout East Patel Nagar – the headquarters of the AAP, with a sea of people all around greeting one another.
While thanking the party workers and the people of Delhi, Kejriwal from the balcony of his party office said, “We shouldn’t become arrogant after this verdict. It’s arrogance that has reduced the Congress and the BJP to this state. We’ve to serve the people with folded hands (Haath jod kar humey sewa karni hai). Otherwise people will reduce us to the same state after five years.”
The results showed 67 seats for the AAP (declared and leading) and three for the BJP. The Congress scored a grand total of zero.
Much before the results started pouring in and the trends showed AAP candidates much ahead and celebrations began outside the East Patel Nagar office of the party and at the park opposite it. Revellers shouted slogans, showered rose petals and waved the national flag.
The jubilation in the locality and outside the Patel Nagar metro station was mind-boggling. An unusual scene on the streets of Patel Nagar was the sea of white topis (caps) as far as the eye could see. Autowallahs, e-rickshaw drivers and cycle rickshaw pullers were all sporting the white AAP topi and shouting the party’s slogan: “Paanch Saal Kejriwal” (Five years for Kejriwal).
Ramprasad, a cycle rickshaw puller ferrying this correspondent from the East Patel Nagar office of the Aam Aadmi Party to the metro station, said, “Yeh humari jeet hai (This is our victory). Finally, a right man, Arvind Kejriwal has been elected to be the chief minister of Delhi.”
It was equally chaotic situation around the AAP office. People, volunteers and followers could be seen showering rose petals and cheering with blue balloons, cut-outs of Kejriwal and the party’s symbol the jhaadu (brooms).
Pankaj Gupta, a senior AAP leader and a key strategist for the party told Firstpost: “We were definite about getting 50 seats as Yogendra Yadav had projected. But today’s result speaks about the faith that the Delhi voters reposed in us. They really understand who to vote for. They can’t be fooled by false claims. People have voted for us knowing that the AAP would deliver what it has committed to. Now, we have a lot of pressure on us. We have to perform and assure Delhiites that we would deliver what we had promised.”
Among those on the streets of Delhi, many were jubilant over the AAP’s victory.
Riyazuddin, an auto-rickshaw driver said: “Ye jeet logon ki mohabbat ka nateeza hai (This win is the result of the people’s love). All autowallahs unanimously voted for AAP.”
Shamshad Khan, another autorickshaw driver who came from Okhla to the AAP headquarters to be a part of the historic moment, said,“This is the result of Kejriwal’s 49-day government, as we saw its effects ourselves. This time, physically challenged, ill and the old, all came out to vote in large numbers and that is why AAP has got such a phenomenal victory.”
Amidst a huge cheering crowd of AAP members, volunteers, local residents and people from other parts of Delhi who were a part of the victory celebration, a sexagenarian couple from East Patel Nagar was found moving around with blue balloons.
The woman, 62-year-old Asha Jain, said, “People in Delhi are tired of Congress. The BJP can’t do anything as it has proved in the functioning of the municipal corporation. The best option was AAP and the voters took a chance by bringing in AAP with a majority.”
Her husband, 66-year-old AK Jain, “This landslide victory is the result of people’s anger. The days of speeches and rhetoric are over.”
Another senior citizen Vinay Aneja from nearby Ramesh Nagar said, “We expect the promises made by AAP to be delivered soon, people have voted for change from regular parties over the traditional ones. However, we also wish to see Arvind Kejriwal spending his time on making Delhi a better state and not just on agitations, dharnas and blame games as what happened during his last 49 days tenure.”