The Peoples Democratic Party patron, Mufti Mohammad Sayeed today congratulated Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party on the complete sweep in Delhi polls with an advice to 'the BJP not to ignore the message of voters in Delhi'.
"The Delhi elections have asserted the diversity of our country and the need to respect it,' Mufti said in a statement.
The PDP patron said the 'BJP which has emerged as the most prominent force in the country in the last general elections needs to introspect and absorb the message from Delhi electorate with sublimity'.
The White House said on Tuesday that the American hostage Kayla Jean Mueller, who was being held by Jihadi militants in Syria, had been killed.
The family of Mueller, who is believed to be the last American being held by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis, said they had received information over the weekend that confirmed the death of the 26-year-old aid worker.
After conquering Delhi, the Aam Aadmi Party has set its eyes on Punjab, a state from where it has four MPs.
"Our next target is Punjab. We have already defeated the Akalis in Delhi. Rajouri Garden is the only seat from where the SAD candidate was contesting on the party ticket. The entire Punjab government cabinet, including deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal, was in Rajouri Garden to defeat me, but we won," Jarnail Singh, AAP MLA from Rajouri Garden and a state observer said.
The Twitter account of Newsweek magazine was hacked today. An image
of an Islamic militant's kerchief-covered head and the words "Je suis
IS," a dual reference to Islamic State and the French magazine Charlie
Hebdo, was posted, Reuters reports.
The hacked Twitter feed also posted a threat to US President Barack Obama's family.
The same group took responsibility for a recent intrusion of the US Central Command Twitter account.
BJP's chief ministerial nominee Kiran Bedi who was provided Y-plus security ahead of the Delhi assembly polls, today returned her security cover after facing a shocking defeat at the hands of the AAP.
Bedi who had earlier in the day offered her apologies for not being able to live up to the expectations of the BJP, stepped out of her house in the evening for a short while to speak to one of the security personnel deputed for her security. She was been accorded Y-plus security after being announced as the BJP's CM candidate.
The 65 year-old former cop who chose to remain quiet after having kept her side of the story as soon as her defeat was formally announced from the once BJP stronghold Krishna Nagar constituency, asked the security personnel not to come from tomorrow.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is meeting top ministers Arun Jaitley, Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari and Rajnath Singh to discuss election results in Delhi. The stock-taking began after a Union cabinet meeting this evening, sources told NDTV.
The BJP witnessed its first crushing defeat in Delhi after PM Narendra Modi came to power last May. The AAP swept the capital winning 67 of the 70 seats reducing the BJP to only three seats.
Senior Janata Dal-United leader Nitish Kumar arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday evening with lawmakers of his party, the Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Congress, Communist Party of India and an Independent, intending to parade them before President Pranab Mukherjee at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in a show of majority support to form a government.
"It is more than 24 hours and no decision has come from the Bihar governor in regard to our claim to form the government. The majority is in our favour and we will request the President of India about it. We will take our MLAs to him around 2.15 pm tomorrow (Wednesday)," Nitish told reporters at the Patna airport.
Kumar, who ruled the state as the chief minister from 2005 to mid-2014 and was again elected the leader of JD-U legislature party on Monday, said the delay on part of Governor Keshri Nath Tripathi vitiates the atmosphere and promotes horse-trading.
BJP leader Shazia Ilmi today met party's chief ministerial nominee Kiran Bedi who faced a shocking defeat in the Delhi assembly polls in Krishna Nagar constituency.
"It is indeed a big loss. I came to meet Bedi. She is very accepting of the fact that we've lost. She is upbeat that good things will happen," she told reporters after the meeting.
She (Bedi) clearly says that the party supported her fully and got the backing of the top brass, she added.
Ilmi, a former Aam Aadmi Party leader, said that AAP's political message was very clear and hence contributed to their victory.
"The message that AAP wanted to give people, they indeed managed to take it home. Arvind Kejriwal has been campaigning for the past four months, their radio jingle playing for the past four months. They put up hoarding three months before. And their political message was very clear," she said.
President Pranab Mukherjee will take a call tomorrow on meeting JD-U leader Nitish Kumar who is planning to parade 130 supporting MLAs before him.
Sources in the Rashtrapati Bhavan said the president will decide tomorrow on the plea of Kumar who wants to present supporting MLAs before him to press a point that he has a majority in the Bihar assembly.
Kumar has already left for Delhi with 130 supporting MLAs of his party, the RJD, Congress, one CPI and an Independent to parade them before president. He also questioned the delay by Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi in inviting him to form the government.
He claimed that many of the supporting MLAs have told him that the Manjhi camp was offering JD-U MLAs ministerial berths and also the BJP tickets for the assembly polls later this year to lure them to their side.
Bharatiya Janata Party leaders and ministers were in Ahmedabad to attend the wedding of party president Amit Shah's son Jay, even as the Delhi poll results trickled in.
Those present at the wedding organised at the YMCA Club included ministers Rajnath Singh, Nitin Gadkari, Ananth Kumar, J P Nadda, Suresh Prabhu, Piyush Goyal, Dharmendra Pradhan and Rajiv Pratap Rudy. Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das and BJP joint general secretary V Satish, besides Vishwa Hindu Parusha leaders Ashok Singhal as well as Acharya Dharmendra and Baba Ramdev were also present at the wedding, in addition to Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh pracharak Suresh Soni.
Corporate bigwigs like Mukesh Ambani along with his wife Nita Ambani, Gautam Adani and his wife Priti, Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament from Jharkhand Parimal Nathwani, former president of the Medical Council of India Ketan Desai were present at the wedding.
AAP leader Somnath Bharti today said the Prime Minister making "personal attacks" on someone (Arvind Kejriwal) during campaign rallies did not go down well with voters in Delhi.
"The Prime Minister belongs to all citizens and not to a single political party. The PM making personal attacks on someone (Kejriwal) did not go down well with people," said Bharti without naming either Modi or Kejriwal in this context.
He also said that Kejriwal's resigning as CM in 2014 showed that they were ready "to sacrifice chairs for causes."
"Also like an aam aadmi, he (Kejriwal) apologised and accepted his fault (for resigning as CM). But at the same time, our quitting the government made it clear that we were not ready for any compromise," said Bharti who won Malviya Nagar assembly constituency.
50% reduction in power tariff No FDI in retail Lowest VAT in India Pro-farmer land reform Free Wi-Fi across Delhi Installing 10-15 lakh CCTV cameras, home guards for safety of women Making water a legal right, 20,000 litres free water to poor household per month Two lakh toilets, 500 new government schools, 20 new degree colleges, and 30,000 more beds in government hospitals To create eight lakh jobs, make Delhi a "start up hub". Delhi Lokpal Bill, a Swaraj Bill to devolve power to mohalla level Citizens Local Area Development (CLAD) fund Second language status to Urdu and Punjabi, encourage research/study Sanskrit. 200 acres land for affordable housing Regularisation of unauthorized colonies Homes for slum dwellers
Kejriwal has shown that not only can Modi-Shah be stopped, they can, in fact, be routed. Today, as the Delhi votes are counted, it shows not only the AAP's victory or BJP's defeat. But also the Congress's final irrelevance," says Saisuresh Sivaswamy/Rediff.com
With BJP's Chief Ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi suffering a shocking defeat in the Delhi polls, her husband Brij Bedi feels that one of the reasons for her loss was BJP cadre's failure to support her in the elections.Brij (71) also said the youth of Delhi played an important role in Aam Aadmi Party's spectacular victory in the high-stake poll battle in Delhi."If she (Bedi) was fully supported, then why she could not have won,' Brij questioned.
"She lost by over 2,000 votes while (BJP leader) Harsh Vardhan used to win (from Krishna Nagar) with a big margin. It means she did not get support..it means your (BJP) cadre did not work. They failed to deliver,' he alleged, adding that Bedi's opponent was also not a known personality.
Heads up, Congress, AAP MLA Jarnail Singh says the party will reopen investigations into the 1984 anti-Sikh riots cases. He is the former journalist who threw a shoe at then home minister P
Chidambaram in protest against his remarks on the clean chit to Congress
leaders in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots case.
Pic of the Jarnail Singh's 2009 book on the anti-Sikh riots
Kiran Bedi's clarifies @thekiranbedi "Who is saying I am not taking responsibility for the BJP defeat? I AM.. I also said BJP leadership will take stock of what went wrong..!"
The former IPS officer and the BJP's CM candidate, who lost from the Krishna Nagar seat, had said at a presser this morning that the BJP will introspect and analyse the
defeat. I lose only when I do not give my 100 per cent to the cause. I
gave it all. My party and we will reflect on the causes of defeat! Best
wishes for Delhi, she said in another tweet.
She added, I havent lost, the BJP has lost so let them introspect. I
think I havent lost, I did my best, I would lose if I hadnt done my
best, BJP will assess. It's a national party, let them also introspect."
Union minister Giriraj Singh, who is seen as a Hindutva voice, today blamed "polarisation of pseudo-secular forces" for the BJP's rout in Delhi elections.
Singh suggested that Muslims were rallied against BJP and claimed the saffron party was defeated in a similar way as "Abhimanyu was killed in a chakravyuh" by enemies, quoting Hindu epic Mahabharat.
"We have not lost this election. Our vote share is more or less intact. Like Abhimanyu was killed through deceit by enemies, BJP has been defeated by polarisation of pseudo- secular forces. Members of a particular community were polarised before elections," he said.
When it was pointed out that over 54 per cent of votes were polled by AAP, Singh declined to comment. He, however, pointed out that BJP received almost the same share of votes it had during 2013 Assembly polls.
It had fetched 33.1 percent votes then and has 32.2 percent vote share in these elections. The party had garnered more than 46 per cent votes in Lok Sabha elections in May 2014 when it won all seven constituencies.
The Minister of State for Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, who comes from Bihar and is known for his controversial statements, had campaigned for the party in Delhi.
Singh had said at a seminar in 2014, "Isn't it true that all people caught in terrorist activities belong to one community? I am not trying to blame any one particular community. Why are all so-called secular parties silent on this?"
BJP's Ravi Shankar Prasad on the AAP win and support from the union government: "The Govt works without any political bias and will support Delhi Govt in its endeavors. We will look into why we lost deeply, we lost and we accept it with humility. But BJP is resilient."
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal today said AAP's victory in Delhi Assembly polls will not impact Punjab politics.
"Despite the fact that AAP managed to form a government in Delhi in 2013, everyone knew well what happened later.
"AAP's victory was confined only to national capital and subsequently these political developments would not have impending repercussions on Punjab politics," the CM said.
However, Badal said the Shiromani Akali Dal will introspect over the factors responsible for its defeat in Delhi at party's platform.
To a question on whether AAP will be contesting te 2017 Assembly elections in Punjab, the CM said, "In the Indian democratic system, all political parties have the right and are at liberty to contest these elections."
"The Indian National Congress congratulates Shri Arvind Kejriwal and the Aam Aadmi Party for their historic victory in the elections to the Delhi Assembly. The Congress Party accepts the will of the people with humility and will sincerely introspect the reasons behind its loss. This loss has registered strongly with us and we will take all steps to establish our connect with the people. The Congress Party will rebuild its support amongst the people by working on and executing the core ideas that the party has stood for the last 130 years of its inception."
With Aam Aadmi Party bagging 67 seats in the 70-member Delhi Assembly, Union Minister Piyush Goyal today said the BJP will analyse the defeat but insisted that "Modi-wave" has not faded.
"I congratulate AAP on their victory. Now I believe that they will serve Delhi better. We will do an analysis on the verdict," Goyal said at Ahmedabad airport before heading to attend the marriage of BJP president Amit Shah's son.
"I will not hold anybody responsible for BJP's defeat. We have won many Assembly elections. But I do not feel that Modi wave has faded. No wave can be finished in 10-15 days," Goyal said.
Why Amit Shah is celebrating despite the BJP's appalling performance in the Delhi polls. It's his son's wedding, stupid.
Most party colleagues will be busy keeping an eye on the results of the Delhi assembly elections, BJP's national president will be busy in Ahmedabad's YMCA Club with his son Jay's wedding.
While several senior BJP leaders are expected to attend the high-profile event, Shah, will also hold a separate wedding reception in the National Capital on February 15, where the men and women who matter in Indian politics and industry will attend.
Here's a picture from the weeding if you haven't made it to Ahmedabad.
''That suit will haunt Modi till he exits politics. Of all the factors that favoured Kejriwal, the biggest was the arrogance and over-confidence of the Modi-Shah led BJP." Sheela Bhatt/Rediff.com on the historic Delhi election result. Read
The Aam Aadmi Party recorded a stunning victory in the Delhi polls, leading in 67 out of 70 seats. This is the biggest victory margin for any political party in Delhi since the first assembly elections took place in 1993. It is not every year that such a one-sided win is seen in Indian politics. Rediff.com takes a look at record-setting wins. Read
It now seems to boil down to a choice between Rahul Gandhi's elevation and Congress revival -- and no two guesses on what Congress President Sonia Gandhi will choose. Never mind that the Congress has got a duck in the Delhi assembly election after drawing a blank in as many as 19 states and Union territories in the Lok Sabha election steered by Rahul nine months ago. Read
Senior Congress leader Ajay Maken tweets this: " @INCIndia supporters: Leheron se darr kar nauka paar nahin hoti Kuch kiye bina hi jai jaikar nahin hoti Koshish karne walon ki haar nahin hoti
Maken, who was the face of the Congress in the polls. Just two days ago, senior party leader Kiran Walia, who is considered to be close to former Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit said, let me make one thing very clear. Ajay Maken is not the CM candidate of Congress.
In fact, there is no tradition of projecting a CM candidate ahead of elections in Congress party. Even Shela Dikshit was not projected as CM candidate.
Both Maken and Walia lost their seats, and Maken his deposit as well.
BJP's Shazia Ilmi on being asked I know what AAP was like to me, so no, I don't regret leaving them, says Shazia Ilmi, when asked if she regretted joining the BJP. Ilmi, who had unsuccessfully contested the Delhi Assembly poll last year said she wasn't interested in contesting the February 7 polls in the national capital. She was also defeated in May last year when she ran as the AAP candidate for Parliament from Ghaziabad near Delhi.
Uddhav Thackeray delivers a mound of salt to BJP's wounds.
BJP ally Shiv Sena who split with the party ahead of the Lok Sabha elections chose its words while congratulating the AAP for its spectacular performance.
Top leaders across party lines were effusive in their praise for Kejriwal who has handed his party a near-perfect score in the
Thackeray, sprinkled salt on Prime Minister Modi's wounds with his choice of words, saying, "The people of Delhi
have shown the might of a tsunami against a wave," said Uddhav.
Modi wave" was used by the BJP to illustrate the Prime Minister's
popularity in the lead-up to the Lok Sabha polls and indeed, the PM led the BJP to the strongest election result in India in
nearly 30 years.
Pic: Arvind Kejriwal hugs colleague and senior party leader Ashutosh as Kumar Vishwas addresses supporters this afternoon.
Anand Sharma, Congress, on the Delhi polls: They have been able to connect with the people. Delhi voters have given a strong mandate. It's historic for AAP, congrats to AAP. The expectations will be very high, when we look at people's aspirations it becomes a challenge for a party. We hope Kejriwal-ji won't disappoint people of Delhi like Modi-ji disappointed the people of India.
Pic: AAP workers cleanup after the victory celebrations outside the party's headquarters at Patel Nagar.
Annihilated in Delhi polls, a shocked Congress today promised to "reinvent" itself and revisit its "idealogical construct".
Party chief Sonia Gandhi and vice president Rahul Gandhi congratulated Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi party for their landslide victory saying they "respect" the verdict.
The party's face for the polls Ajay Maken resigned owning moral responsibility for the defeat while a senior party leader suggested that internal dissension was also one of the reasons for the total decimation of the party in Delhi. Insulating Rahul Gandhi from the blame for the defeat, Maken, who was the Campaign Committee Chief of the party, said that the election was fought on local issues.
At the same time, he also appeared placing a portion of the blame at former chief minister Sheila Dikshit's door saying that people questioned Congress as to why it did not fulfil the promises made now when it was in power in Delhi for last 15 years. Dikshit and Maken are not on very best of terms.
Asked what is the way out for Congress as people have rejected the party with a new face this time as well after voting out three-term Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit in last assembly polls, he said that the result is a "continuation of 2013 mandate" and it's more an "affirmation for AAP" than "rejection of any other party".
"Whenever we went to people with our manifesto promises like cheap electricity and right to shelter, people questioned why did you not do in last 15 years. We have to rebuild that credibility among people.... We will re-invent the party," he said.
BJP MP Kirti Azad on the party's decimation in the polls says heads must roll and campaign managers must be held accountable. The three-time MP had recently praised the Mamata Banerjee, reeling from the Saradha scam, saying he did not think she was dishonest.
Meanwhile, P C Chacko, the Congress leader in-charge of the Delhi polls has stepped down.
Senior journalist Tavleen Singh tells NDTV: Kiran Bedi is a victim. She's not a politician. Every speech she made, she looked sillier. The BJP is paying for not having an agenda. They are paying for not introducing change. They are paying for their arrogance.
Congress senior leader Digvijaya Singh tweets: BJP lost the day they projected Kiran Bedi as CM candidate and brought all leaders from outside to campaign not trusting local leaders/workers.
Congress leader Manish Tiwari on why his party lost (and what a loss it is, Mr Tiwari!), saying, "People wanted to teach BJP and its arrogance a lesson, they decided AAP is instrument of their choice rather Congress."
No lessons learnt.
Congress, if you've just joined us, has not won a single seat. Not one.
Arvind Kejriwal calls his mentor Anna Hazare and invites him to the swearing-in ceremony which will be held at the Ramlila Maidan on Saturday, Feb 14.
Last week, when asked about the Delhi elections, Anna, had tarred Modi, Kejriwal and Bedi with the same brush saying, "Corruption these days has taken a backseat as an agenda in the political scenario and chair has become more important for all instead of their responsibility towards the society."
And on Kejriwal, specifically, he had said, "He has turned greedy for power since his focus has shifted to politics."
Remains to be seen if Mr Hazare will make the journey from Ralegaon Siddhi to New Delhi in more ways than one.
Sweet. Arvind Kejriwal hugs his wife as the results come in pointing to an unprecedented win for AAP. Addressing party workers moments later, Kejriwal said the victory would not have been possible without her constant support and understanding. "She never comes in the picture but she is always there. It would not have been possible for me to achieve anything if she was not there," he said.
So, if you're thinking Bedi will switch sides and join her old comrade, Arvind Kejriwal's party, here's what she says: I remain a member of the BJP, I'm happy to be a member of a strong national party.
And did we hear that right? After saying she was a defeated candidate, Kiran Bedi at the presser says, "I haven't lost, the BJP has lost so let them introspect. I think I haven't lost, I did my best, I would lose if I hadn't done my best, BJP will assess. It's a national party, let them also introspect."
For someone who severely criticised Arvind Kejriwal, Bedi now says, "Im confident that now Arvinds team and leadership will provide all facilities they have promised to urban poor of Delhi."
In defeat, Kiran Bedi addresses her constituency, with folded hands and says she has never felt the way she has right now. "I am a defeated candidate today. Thank you for all your support. Party didn't ask for any money from me, accepted me way I am and I'm thankful for all the respect and love I've received from the party and leadership.
"I want to begin by thanking BJP leadership which inspired me to join and take up the CM candidature. I'm sorry I couldn't rise to your expectations. I apologise to the last worker.
"Congratulations to Arvind Kejriwal for an excellent job. This is the result of five years of work. Full marks to him."
Kiran Bedi loses to AAP's S K Bagga by 2508 votes.
As soon as the first trends started coming in, Bedi said, Agar haar hui to meri, jeet hui to leadership ki (If we lose, it will
be my responsibility; if we win then the leadership will take credit),
the BJP's chief ministerial candidate, who is contesting from Krishna
Nagar constituency, had said.
Surrounded by joyous supporters, AAP chief Arvind Kejirwal today made sure he thanked his wife Sunita with a warm hug "for always being there". Kejriwal had met Sunita at the National Academy of Administration at Mussoorie during their training period after both of them qualified for the Indian Revenue Service (IRS).
As the former Delhi Chief Minister spoke to party workers for the first after the staggering victory of his party, an ecstatic Sunita, who is an IRS officer, quietly stood by his side.
Addressing the party workers, Kejriwal said the victory would not have been possible without her constant support and understanding. "She never comes in the picture but she is always there. It would not have been possible for me to achieve anything if she was not there," he said.
Kejriwal often fondly remembers the day he proposed to Sunita, saying, "One day I knocked at her door in the academy and proposed to her. She said yes."
The couple have two children, daughter Harshita, who studies at IIT Delhi, and son Pulkit. Kejriwal also has a younger sister and brother.
A thrilling Tuesday for AAP & everyone of us who supported them, tight slap on BJP's divisive politics: Derek O'Brien, TMC.
TMC chief and West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee had 'voted' for AAP on Feb 5, tweeting, "Delhi elections on 7. My request to all of you in Delhi to please vote
for AAP. For the greater need of the country and development in Delhi."
Anti-corruption crusader and Gandhian activist Anna Hazare today congratulated AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal for the party's spectacular performance in Delhi Assembly polls.
He said that the election result was in favour of AAP because the "achhe din only came for industrialists" after the Narendra Modi-led government came to power at the Centre eight months back.
"I extend my best wishes to Kejriwal," Anna told reporters at Ralegan Siddhi.
He also urged the AAP convenor, a former Team-Anna member, not to forget his struggle for the Jan Lokpal Bill and take it forward.
"The public earlier thought that 'ache din ane wale hain' but the good days came only for industrialists and that's why AAP's acceptability increased among the people. "Public's parliament is bigger than any government. They have given their mandate," he said.
At the AAP HQ, Arvind Kejriwal addresses his supporters as rose petals rain on him. Thanking his supporters, he says, "I thank the people of Delhi. We took the virtuous parth. The support we got is scary and it's a big responsibility on us. "
Ending his short thanksgiving speech, with a Bharat mata ki jai, the sea of supporters below the balcony cries, 'Paanch Saal Kejriwal' over and over again.
Congress general secretary Ajay Maken, who was the party's face in the Delhi polls, today resigned from the post, taking moral responsibility for the humiliating defeat at the hustings.
He congratulated AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal for his party's landslide victory and hoped he will fulfill all the dreams and promises made during campaigning for the Assembly polls.
"I take moral responsibility for the party's defeat in Delhi assembly polls," he told reporters as the poll results showed that Congress was unable to even open its account.
"I was the face of the Congress in Delhi elections. Since the party has not fared well, I take moral responsibility and am quitting as Congress general secretary," said Maken, who was the chairman of the Congress Campaign Committee in Delhi. The former minister in the Union and Delhi governments was contesting from Sadar Bazar constituency.
Pic: This cartoon by Nilesh Kher is self explanatory.
Omar Abdullah @abdullah_omar tweets: Wow, well done Delhi & well done @AamAadmiParty. Good luck to @ArvindKejriwal for the next 5 years. If there is lesson for the Congress in this it is that Modi & BJP aren't unbeatable if you take the fight to them, don't wait for mistakes.
The AAP was leading in a staggering 66 seats in the 70-member assembly with its its nearest rival BJP far behind at a paltry 3 seats.
Congress, which ruled the national capital for 15 years till December 2013, may not even open its account while the INLD was ahead in one seat. In an election that was billed as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi but rejected by BJP as such, the AAP wave spearheaded by its chief Arvind Kejriwal knocked the two major parties and their veterans from their citadels.
In all the assembly elections that followed the spectacular victory in the May Lok Sabha polls, the BJP formed governments in Maharastra, Haryana, Jharkhand and emerged the second largest party in Jammu and Kashmir with highest vote share.
AAP chief Kejriwal was leading in the prestigious New Delhi constituency while BJP's Chief Ministerial nominee Kiran Bedi was leading by 800 votes in Krishna Nagar seat, considered a traditional stronghold of the party. Congress' Chief Ministerial candidate Ajay Maken was trailing in Sadar Bazar seat.
AAP: 65, BJP: 04, CONG: 0, INLD: 1
Map key: Yellow is AAP, Purple is INLD, Saffron is BJP
BJP senior leader Venkaiah Naidu on the AAP win: This is a Delhi election, not a referendum on the Central Government. Centre will extend full support to New Delhi govt. We hope they will be able to live up to expectations of people.
So, the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party is on course to script history as the party is headed towards a landslide victory with a clear lead in a staggering 62 seats in the 70-member assembly while its nearest rival BJP was ahead in only 07 seats. The Congress has so far notched a big zero. The INLD was ahead in one seat.
AAP chief Kejriwal was leading in the prestigious New Delhi constituency while BJP's Chief Ministerial nominee Kiran Bedi was trailing in Krishna Nagar seat, considered a traditional stronghold of the party. Congress' Ajay Maken was trailing in Sadar Bazar seat.
Expressing happiness over the party's performance, AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said, "it was not just under class, but the middle class also voted for AAP. The (Narendra Modi) juggernaut seems to have halted at least for now." Reacting to the election trends, BJP said the polls were a referendum on Kejriwal and it should not be linked to the performance of Narendra Modi government.
Arvind Kejriwal is still gracious in victory and refuses to criticise his opponent Kiran Bedi (who is losing her Krishna Nagar seat) who had no qualms about doing so throughout the campaign trail. She has called him "extremely negative and opportunistic".
It's double celebrations for AAP's Kumar Vishwas, who was the party's Lok Sabha candidate from Amethi. As heads to form government in Delhi, Vishwas brings in his birthday but the icing on the cake is telling: Not happy birthday, but 5 Saal Kejriwal.
Even as the Aam Aadmi Party was tearing away to a spectacular victory in Delhi, Bharatiya Janata Party's chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi said the defeat was hers and that the results were not a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"Agar haar hui to meri, jeet hui to leadership ki (If we lose, it will be my responsibility; if we win then the leadership will take credit,' the BJP's chief ministerial candidate, who is contesting from Krishna Nagar constituency, said.
Almost all the exit polls conducted on February 7 and the early counting on Tuesday had given Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party a decisive edge in the assembly election. Most top BJP leaders have already denied the Delhi verdict as a referendum on Modi's ten month-rule.
As trends begin to coming pointing to an AAP win, Kiran Bedi says that if she loses she will take responsibility.
That's precisely what Kejriwal has been saying, that the BJP will use her as a fall guy. Kejriwal has always remained civil while commenting on his opponent and former colleague in the Anna Hazare-led India Against Corruption movement. When her candidature was announced he had tweeted that he was happy that she has joined politics and would have loved to have her in the AAP.
Her political debut has not been easy. She joined the BJP only last
month and was immediately elevated as the party's chief ministerial
candidate, much to the consternation of the senior leadership of the
The BJP says it did its best and hopes for a positive outcome. The assembly election, held for the second time in little over one year, has been largely a direct contest between BJP and a resurgent AAP which has put up a tough fight under Arvind Kejriwal's leadership.
The BJP strongly rejected the exit poll findings predicting an AAP victory and said it was confident of winning the polls. With exit polls predicting a clear victory for AAP, the party on Sunday had a meeting of its top leaders where the possible political situation in the city was discussed.
Pic: AAP members and supporters watching the trends as it happens on TV with the same, if not more, excitement that a cricket match generates.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal this morning, urged the people of the national capital to pray for a decisive verdict in the Delhi Assembly polls.
"All the very best Delhiites. Do pray. Prayers are v powerful," he tweeted.
Five out of seven exit polls have predicted that the AAP may return to power once again in the national capital, with the second place for the BJP.
The Congress, which ruled Delhi for 15 years, has been placed at a distant third.The Election Commission has made elaborate arrangements for the counting of votes which will begin at 8 am.
Counting will take place at 14 centers in nine districts of the national capital.The entire process of counting will be video graphed. The Electronic Voting Machines are being heavily guarded at the counting centres.A three-tier security will be in place at all the 14 counting centres.
A record 67.14 per cent turnout was recorded in the polls on Saturday in which a total of 673 candidates. Polling had taken place at 12,177 polling stations, of which 714 have been identified as "critical".
Of these, 191 are "highly critical".
The BJP, which is out of power in Delhi for the last 16 years, made a gamble by bringing in former Team Anna member Kiran Bedi into the party and made her its chief ministerial candidate which is said to have triggered discontent among the party leaders and rank and file.
The BJP strategy has been countered by Kejriwal-led AAP which has put up a spirited campaign in a bid to stop the Modi juggernaut that has been on a roll ever since the Lok Sabha election victory in May last year. The Congress, which had ruled Delhi for 15 years till December, 2013, has been projected to get at most 5 seats.
The Delhi Assembly elections could yield three results. Some opinion polls give the Aam Aadmi Party a majority in the 70-seat Assembly, while other polls favour the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Some "pollsters" have also looked at the illegal betting market. Last time I checked (Friday morning), the bookies were offering 2.5:1 on the BJP and 3:1 on the AAP, with 25:1 on the Congress. Are the bookies right, or is it likely to be the AAP, or a hung Assembly?
Hard to say.
Election data and opinion polls are often cited by the statistically challenged. These data are also wilfully misinterpreted by the biased. Few people understand how polls, or bookies, operate. Read more
European Union foreign ministers threatened sanctions on Monday against "spoilers" who obstruct efforts by the United Nations to halt fighting inLibya.
Libya has been in chaos since a NATO-backed revolt ousted Muammar Gaddafi nearly four years ago, with rival governments allied to armed groups fighting for legitimacy in a conflict that threatens to split apart the oil-producing nation.
Suspected members of Boko Haram kidnapped 20 people from a bus in northern Cameroon, then executed 12 of them.
The kidnapping occurred on Sunday and all of the survivors have since been released, yesterday a resident said, on condition of anonymity, whose wife was among those abducted. An official from a local NGO also confirmed the incident.
Amid conflicting signals from federal courts and the chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court, some Alabama counties began granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Monday in a legal showdown with echoes of the battles over desegregation in the 1960s.
In major county seats like Birmingham, Montgomery and Huntsville, same-sex couples lined up outside courthouses as they opened and emerged smiling after being wed.
US President Barack Obama today said he has sharp differences with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the nuclear peace negotiations with Iran, asserting he wants to give diplomacy a chance before thinking about other options which are not attractive for either America or Israel.
"I don't want to be coy. The Prime Minister and I have a very real difference around Iran's sanctions," Obama told reporters at a White House news conference along with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Four days after a CBI court granted bail to suspended IPS officer P P Pandey in Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, Gujarat government today revoked his suspension and reinstated him in service.
"The state government has revoked the suspension order of P P Pandey and appointed him on the vacant cadre post of Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), Gujarat state, Gandhinagar," an order issued by state Home Department said.
Criminal cases have been registered against VHP leader Praveen Togadia and organisers of 'Hindu Virat Samavesha' for allegedly violating prohibitory orders issued by Bengaluru Police Commissioner M N Reddi.
"We have booked one criminal case against Togadia and cases against the organisers for violating prohibitory orders," a top police official, who did not wish to be named, told PTI tonight.
The US is examining the possibility of arming Ukraine with "lethal defensive weapons" President Barack Obama said today but insisted that no decision in this regard had been made yet.
"It is true that if, in fact, diplomacy fails, what I've asked my team to do is to look at all options. What other means can we put in place to change (Russian President) Mr (Vladimir) Putin's calculus? The possibility of lethal defensive weapons is one of those options that's being examined," Obama said at a White House news conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.