Reethu, a story teller, a person often found between the pages of a book or contemplating the nuances of life.
The Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party is projected to win Delhi elections with at least 60 seats, way ahead of the majority 36 marks in the 70 seat assembly.
Kejriwal is all set to be the Chief Minister of Delhi for the third consecutive term. In his victory speech, Kejriwal thanked the Delhi voters and the Aam Aadmi Party workers for their massive support.
The AAP had first come to power in Delhi in 2013, but Kejriwal resigned after 48 days when the Jan Lokpal could not be passed. In 2015 Delhi Elections, AAP swept the elections by winning 67 of the 70 seats.
This time around too Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party geared up for an election on the plank of development, focusing on education, healthcare, and women safety while BJP that was projected to give a tough fight was caught in mudslinging discrediting Kejriwal's work and propping up Shaheen Bagh at every election rally. Meanwhile, Congress remained pretty much a mute spectator, leaving the battleground to AAP and BJP.
BJP inability to focus on local issues, project a strong chief ministerial candidate as an alternative to Kejriwal, and divisive politics paved way for the third term of AAP.
How AAP Won Delhi
One of the key promises of AAP in the 2015 Delhi Elections was to transform the government schooling system in Delhi. The state government allotted 26 per cent of the state budget to education and transformed the government schools which are now competing with the private schools in the national capital.
According to the rankings released by an education portal in January this year, three Delhi government schools made it to the list of top 10 government schools in India, with Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya (RPVV) in Dwarka taking the number one spot.
In addition to allocating more funds, 21 new school buildings with modern facilities and 8,000 equivalent new classrooms were constructed.
Kejriwal launched several schemes to provide free medicines, diagnostics and surgeries through a network of Mohalla Clinics, Polyclinics and Hospitals.
The Mohalla clinics, set up in 158 locations across Delhi, provide free of cost primary healthcare. Staffed by a doctor, pharmacist and clinic assistant, the clinics work on all days except Sunday. Mainly located near lower-income colonies, these clinics came as a boon to underserved communities.
The AAP government rolled out free bus rides for women in Delhi in October last year. "The country can progress when the women will progress," the Delhi CM had then said.
In December last year, Kejriwal launched a free WiFi hotspot scheme by installing 100 hotspots in the national capital. The city is slated to get additional 11,000 hotspots in the coming months. Of this, 7000 hotspots would be set up in various markets, resident welfare associations and other places in the city, and 4,000 will be set up at bus stops.
In the run-up to this year's assembly elections, AAP also offered a number of freebies, including 200 units of free electricity and 20,000 litres of free water per month for the next five years. This is in addition to the free bus ride for women and free pilgrimage scheme for senior citizens.
Kejriwal's Soft Hindutva
BJP's grave attempts at brandishing Kejriwal as anti-Hindu failed on a number of occasions. A few days before Delhi elections, when a news anchor asked him if he is a 'Hanuman bhakt', Kejriwal not only acknowledged it but went on to recite the Hanuman Chalisa.
On multiple occasions, Kejriwal sided with BJP in matters of key importance, including the BJP-led government's decision to abrogate Article 370 in August last year. In the aftermath of the Pulwama attacks last year, Kejriwal urged the Centre to give Pakistan a 'befitting reply'.
While AAP strategically stayed away from JNU and Shaheen Bhag protests, Kejriwal recently claimed that if the Delhi Police was under him, he would have cleared the Shaheen Bhag protest area within two hours - a campaign promise by several BJP leaders.
In addition, he welcomed centre's announcement to set up a trust to oversee the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya. While many questioned the Centre's timing for the announcement, Kejriwal had said, "There is no right time for good work. Let's make announcements for good work."
In the last straw to bust BJP's allegations that Kejriwal was anti-Hindu, the CM visited the Hanuman Temple near Connaught Place just a day before the elections. In a tweet following the visit, he had said, "Prayed for the progress of the country and Delhi."
While BJP continued it Hindutva politics, Kejriwal treaded on safe grounds - he embraced a soft nationalism that neither alienated the majority community nor sided with the extreme left. Kejriwal's socially liberal stands, pro-Centre approach, and his various policies to spearhead development in the state can be attributed to his victory this time.
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