New Delhi: With Arvind Kejriwal handing his party a near-perfect score in the Delhi election, top leaders from around the country were quick to congratulate him. Among them, Uddhav Thackeray, who is an ally of the BJP, which was thoroughly trounced by Mr Kejriwal. His party won 67 seats in the capital; the BJP, runner up, won just three.
Administering large heaps of salt for his partner’s wounds, Mr Thackeray cheerily professed, “The people of Delhi have shown the might of a tsunami against a wave.”
“The Modi wave” is used by the BJP as a summation of the Prime Minister’s popularity and ability to connect with voters. In the national election, the PM proved that wasn’t wishful thinking – he led the BJP to the strongest election result in India in nearly 30 years.
Mr Kejriwal’s result today is also multi-platinum. Despite rallies by the Prime Minister and top union ministers and the deployment of 120 national law-makers to coordinate its campaign, the BJP has been run over by a party just two years old.
Mr Thackeray’s Shiv Sena partners with the BJP to govern Maharashtra; it is also a member of the PM’s coalition government. Ahead of the Maharashtra election last year, the Sena and the BJP went through a nasty break-up. The BJP won first place in the election but not a majority. The Sena, which was runner-up, was made to sweat by BJP leaders before they allowed an alliance, which brought Mr Thackeray’s party back to power after nearly 15 years spent in the opposition.