Alwaght- Indian ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has suffered a dramatic defeat in legislative elections for the capital, failing to win over voters in New Delhi with a campaign focused on anti-Muslim rhetoric.
Results from the Delhi legislative elections showed on Tuesday that the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) took 62 seats in the 70-seat assembly for the city of 20 million after running on an agenda centered on anti-corruption, healthcare, and education. The BJP won just eight.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi, of the BJP, tweeted his congratulations to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on the same day.
AAP supporters danced in the streets of New Delhi and set off fireworks.
The BJP managed to increase its seats from a previous three, but experts believe the results were a clear indication that Delhi rejected BJP’s campaign of encouraging hate.
“The BJP indulged in one of the most vitriolic, communal hate-mongering campaigns as a desperate electoral gamble,” Yogendra Yadav, an academic, said.
BJP’s campaign had played heavily on Hindu nationalism while targeting the Muslim community in India.
Meanwhile, AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal, an anti-corruption figure who has been highly critical of the BJP government during his time as Delhi chief minister, called the results as “a victory of people of Delhi who considered me their son.”
Despite Modi’s re-election with a huge majority in the May 2019 national elections, the BJP has not fared well, and the latest defeat constitutes another setback for it. Since December 2018, the Indian ruling party has lost power in five states: Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand.