The Aam Aadmi Party office at Hanuman Road has become the face of Change in Delhi. Thousands of supporters of Arvind Kejriwal have gathered here to celebrate the sweep of jhhadu -- the broom -- AAP's election symbol on a day that will be remembered for the decimation of Congress after three long terms from the national capital. As the proverbial "sweeping" saw the light of the day, the mandate, say supporters gathered here, is clear. It's the victory of the common man, The Aam Aadmi.
The mention of Anna eludes the cheers and slogans. The news of AAP "gaining parity with BJP", when it soared to 30 seats, attracted louder cheers.
At the AAP office building, every time a volunteer peeps out of the window to announce the party's surge in votes against the mighty leaders from the Congress and BJP, the energetic supporters break into cheers of "Bharat Mata Ki Jai. Vande Mataram". The tone and use of "Vande Matram"by the supporters sounds more than familiar. Many supporters took jibes at sections of the media that had panned the idea and prospects of AAP in the Delhi election.
Outside the Hanuman mandir, mehndi artistes who would charge Rs 75-150 are offering their services for free. One of them says, "We are very happy today. AAP's victory (against the Congress and its forceful surge against the BJP) marks a new revolution for people like us."
The "victory" of Swaraj" is being celebrated over dance and the beats of dhol. At 1:24 pm the Announcement of Arvind Kejriwal's win from the New Delhi constituency. led to a frenzy and slogans. "Abhi to yeh angdaayi hai, aage bahut ladai hai. Dilli Now, Nation next." At 1:29 pm, the Announcement of
Manish Sisodia's victory from the Patparganj seat added to the happiness and hysteria of supporters here.
The symbolic "sweeping" transformed into action as supporters cleaned up the dirt on the road to bring home the message. A supporter was seen circulating a work of art, acrylic on canvas showing a map of India and the presence of AAP. A note pasted to the painting said it was up for auction at Rs 1 crore.
"Jisne Dilli Badlee main usko kyun badlun" (Why do I replace the party that brought change in Delhi?" The poster, that posed a counter to claims made by Congress' rivals during election campaigning through this slogan has a different meaning today.
By 1pm, supporters of Aam Admi Party gathered at India Gate to "celebrate". To people who were present at the protests against the Nirbhaya Gang rape and atrocities against women, the gathering at India Gate indicated a change in story -- Delhi's political scene that has come full circle in December.
BJP's CM candidate Vijendra Gupta told NIE, "AAP created a myth -- that the fight is between Congress and BJP. We left it unchecked. We didn't watch it." More good news poured out for the Aam Aadmi Party at 2.50 pm when its candidate from Kasturba Nagar, Advocate Madan Lal walked out victorious and loaded with garlands.
He had trounced his rival from Congress by 5300 odd votes. He said, "It's because of Arvind Kejriwal's cleanand honest image that we could do this well in the Assembly elections. Kasturba Nagar had been neglected by the BJP and Congress for many years. We have a lot of work to do for the youth."
Later, the word about AAP's win in Jangpura sent garlands flying into the air at Gol Market. It wasn't a good day for an auto riskshaw driver (name withheld on request) who had voted for Congress against his son's wishes. His sons pursuing under graduate courses had advised him to vote for Aam Aadmi Party. "They are young. Their idea of politics and political leaders is different. Congress has done a lot for us. I can't vote for any other party in Delhi. But times are changing."
BJP candidate from RK puram Anil Sharma got a roaring reception outside the counting booth in New Delhi. He had trounced Shazia Ilmi of Aam Aadmi Party. "He has won. He has won, 340 votes margin!" supporters yelled in joy. Sharma told the New Indian Express, "Aam Aadmi Party has done well. We will have to work harder in the times to come. But one thing is clear.
Congress has been decimated for its policies and neglect." "Gayee tumhaari Congress?", a house wife took jibes at a neighbour at a residential colony near the New Delhi counting booth. Women waited to get a glimpse of Arvind Kejriwal. Someone joked, "Jhaadu (broom, also the symbol of AAP) may go out of stock. Mehengi ho jayegi (its prices may go up)."