Electricity, education and healthcare all found a mention in Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s victory speech, in which he thanked the people of Delhi for handing AAP a massive win, and told them, “I love you”.
But as significant as what the CM said was what he did not say: The speech did not target the BJP or its leaders, who have over the past month repeatedly targeted Kejriwal. This is in line with Kejriwal’s new approach to politics, where he has tried to keep the focus on governance and avoid direct confrontations with opponents. Even when BJP leaders had called him a terrorist, Kejriwal’s response was aimed not at them but at the public — he told Delhi voters to pick the BJP if they considered him a terrorist, and choose him if they considered him their son.
The speech also had clues on what the next five years have in store for Delhi: Schools and mohalla clinics will continue to be priorities for the AAP government. In his interview to The Indian Express, Kejriwal had recently said that while a beginning had been made in these fields, much was left to be done.
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The speech also had a personal touch, with the CM telling the crowd that his family were his biggest supporters, and that it was his wife Sunita’s birthday today. He also said Lord Hanuman had blessed Delhi on an auspicious Tuesday, and ended the speech with chants of Inquilab Zindabad, Bharat Mata Ki Jai and Vande Mataram.
He also reiterated a line he has used repeatedly over the course of his campaign: That Delhi has given birth to a new kind of politics, which could be emulated across the country. Just days earlier, when asked whether someone like him could play a role on the national stage, Kejriwal had told The Indian Express: “Actually, I am not important. AAP is not important. What is important is that the people of Delhi have given birth to a new kind of politics today. Five years ago, they gave an opportunity to a completely new party, which was unexpected. And today, five years later, if they vote for work, it will be a new kind of politics and ideology. Other governments and other parties will start to work as well. They will also feel that if they work, bigger forces will bow down and weaken.”
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