Supporters, families of Common Man Party leaders celebrate Delhi polls victory

Supporters and family members of leaders of India’s Aam Aadmi, or the Common Man Party, celebrate party’s record mandate win in Delhi assembly polls.

BHIWANI, HARYANA, INDIA (FEBRUARY 10, 2015) (ANI) – Supporters and family members of leaders of India’s Aam Aadmi, or the Common Man Party, congratulated the party for record mandate win in Delhi polls on Tuesday (February 10).

Upstart anti-establishment Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) crushed ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in a Delhi state election on Tuesday, smashing an aura of invincibility built around Prime Minister Narendra Modi since he swept to power last year.

AAP won 67 seats out of 70 seats in the Delhi assembly, the biggest ever tally for any party in the capital.

AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal’s village in Bhiwani city in northern state of Haryana erupted in joy to celebrate the win. The supporters burst firecrackers on road and distributed sweets among each other.

Former tax inspector Kejriwal belongs to Siwani village.

“We are very happy as the son of Siwani, Arvind Kejriwal, won the Delhi elections. We knew that he would win for sure and this is a victory of an honest man,” said a villager, Sudhir Kumar.

AAP captured more than nine-tenths of the seats in the capital, in what Modi’s critics said was a warning against the partisan politics of Hindu hardliners in his fold.

The BJP, seen as a party of traders and big business, had slumped to 3 seats, its worst showing ever, with its chief minister candidate and former cop Kiran Bedi losing her seat.

Congress, the BJP’s main nationwide challenger, failed to win a single seat, underlining how far the Gandhi dynasty has fallen since the party lost power federally in 2014.

Meanwhile, in Hapur city in northern state of Uttar Pradesh, family members of AAP leader Kumar Vishwas celebrated the success by distributing sweets.

“AAP has bagged 67 seats, Congress has zero seats and BJP only three, so this is a very big win and this will spread a message throughout the country,” said Vishwas’ father Chandrapal Sharma, who was garlanded by the well-wishers.

AAP, led by Kejriwal, was campaigning on a platform of pro-poor polices and clean government.

Hundreds of supporters of the AAP swarmed into its Delhi office, wearing their trademark boat-shaped white caps, and showered their leaders with flower petals.

Some AAP supporters also went to a shrine in Ajmer city of northwestern state of Rajasthan to seek blessings from god after winning Delhi elections.

Modi, who threw himself into the campaign, congratulated Kejriwal and said in a Twitter post he would work with him for the development of the mega-city of more than 15 million people.

Winning power in the states is critical to control of the Rajya Sabha (upper house of the parliament), where Modi’s party lacks a majority and has been thwarted in its effort to pass reforms, including wider opening of the insurance sector.

Delhi is a small state, but high profile, and such a comprehensive rout in the capital is a blow to the BJP’s ambitions to capture India’s third most populous state, Bihar, in an election later this year.