Today’s Top Stories
Delhi gives landslide win to AAP, reasons for introspection to BJP, and oblivion to Congress
The Aam Aadmi Party’s broom swept rivals away in the 2020 Delhi Assembly elections in a near repeat of its stunning performance from five years ago as it mopped up 62 of the total 70 seats in results declared to net a third term for Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. Despite a demagogic campaign and a galaxy of star politicians canvassing for it, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) bagged only eight constituencies, a minor improvement on its 2015 tally of three. The Congress, once more, was reduced to nought.
BJP’s response: Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari said the party will review why it failed to meet its own expectations. Addressing the media, he said the BJP "never did politics of hate".
AAP’s hopes: Emboldened by its win in Delhi, the AAP has signalled that it has high hopes for the state assembly elections in Punjab. Moreover, the party also said that it would also contest local polls in Maharashtra and municipal election in Karnataka.
Congress empty-handed: The Congress drew a blank for the second time in a row and reduced its vote share from 9.7 percent in 2015 to 4.27 percent this time. Following the debacle, Delhi party chief Subhash Chopra resigned from his post.
In Other News
CBI vs CBI: The Central Bureau of Investigation filed a charge sheet against Dubai-based businessman and alleged middleman Manoj Prasad in connection with a bribery case involving the probe agency's former Special Director Rakesh Asthana. The CBI, however, gave a clean chit to Asthana in the charge sheet filed before special CBI Judge Sanjeev Aggarwal, court sources said.
NRC data erased: All data of the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) has been made offline from its official website due to non-renewal of contract with the IT firm Wipro, prompting the Opposition Congress to doubt it as a "malafide act".
Nirbhaya case: A Delhi court sought response of the four death-row convicts in the Nirbhaya gang rape and murder case on a plea by the victim's parents and the Delhi government seeking issuance of fresh death warrant. It issued notice to all the convicts and said that it will take up the matter tomorrow.
Bidar sedition case: A Bidar district court will give its verdict on Friday on the bail pleas of a school principal and a student’s parent who were arrested over sedition charges for a play that was allegedly critical of the amended Citizenship Act.
Coronavirus renamed: The World Health Organization said "Covid-19" would be the new official name for the deadly coronavirus. "We now have a name for the disease and it's Covid-19," WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva, explaining that "co" stood for "corona", "vi" for "virus" and "d" for "disease".
On Our Specials
Record low: In what is the clearest sign of a complete meltdown for the Congress, 63 of its 66 candidates in Delhi Assembly seats lost their deposits, according to the final results on the Election Commission website. The only exceptions were Devender Yadav in Badli, Abhishek Dutt in Kasturba Nagar and Arvinder Singh Lovely in Gandhi Nagar. Candidates lose their election deposit if they fail to secure less than one-sixth of the total votes polled, or 16.67% of the total votes, in their constituencies. Suhas Munshi writes that since the restoration of the Delhi Assembly, which was dissolved in 1991 when it was turned into a Union Territory, this is the lowest that the party has sunk.
Aiming higher: With the AAP winning a thumping victory yet again in Delhi, Chief Minister and party head Arvind Kejriwal has already shown signs of a third attempt at going national. On the morning of the counting of votes for the Delhi Assembly election, the party head office sported a large hoarding with the message: “Associate with AAP for nation building.” Rounak Kumar Gunjan writes that the move is similar to the party’s strategy before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. In a bid to catapult itself onto the national political stage, AAP had launched a countrywide drive in January that year to enroll one crore members.
Arvind Kejriwal, an IIT graduate and a former revenue officer's brush with public life came during the Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement in 2011. Since then, there has been no looking back for Arvind Kejriwal, the politician. With back to back victories in Delhi assembly polls, what does the future hold for Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party? Watch to know more.