After hours of counting, the Aam Aadmi Party has shocked even the biggest AAP optimists by snagging more than 90% of the Delhi Assembly seats.
As of Tuesday evening most media outlets were giving the common man’s party winning in 67 out of 70 seats. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was expected to win only 3 seats. The Congress party which ruled the state for 15 years until being ousted in 2013 did not win a single seat.
There has been a tectonic shift in Delhi’s voting patterns over the last three elections. Congress–which was the dominant player for decades, eclipsing all others with more than 43 seats seven years ago—saw its supporter base deflate and then disappear in the last two elections.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had a solid foothold in 2008. It built on that in 2013 only to be beaten back by AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal’s popularity. In the Delhi assembly this time, the BJP’s trio of assembly members is barely a moon circling around planet AAP.
The AAP did not even exist seven years ago. It grabbed 28 seats in the December 2013 elections but that was not enough for a majority or even stability. Mr. Kejriwal tried to make it work as chief minister for 49 days and then quit.
Everyone went to the polls again this month. The uncommon result of the common man’s party is that it has locked up almost every assembly seat. It is a humbling result for both the Congress and the BJP.
The muffler-wearing Mr. Kejriwal will be sworn-in as Delhi’s chief minister on Valentine’s Day, exactly a year after he quit the job a year ago.