Red-faed Ex Deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi& Bihar BJP Strong man mocks at Nitish Kumar’s Morality, says, the self proclaimed Nitish Babu is not Arvind Kejriwal!


Red-faed Ex Deputy CM & Bihar BJP Strong man mocks at Nitish Kumar’s Morality, says, the self proclaimed  Nitish Babu is not Arvind Kejriwal!. If Nitish Kumar had been Arvind Kejriwal, Nitish would not have souight support from corrupt Congress & RJD said Sushil Kumar Modi


Former deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi (SuMo) said on Saturday that CM-designate Nitish Kumar owed to the people of the state a serial apology for a number of political mistakes that he made after winning the assembly elections for a second time in November 2010.SuMo said Nitish has already apologized to the people of the state for tendering resignation after the parliamentary elections, in which his party JD (U) could win only two of the 40 parliamentary seats in the state.He said Nitish, however, has committed five other mistakes, for which he should also tender public apology. According to him, people of the state had given a massive mandate to run the affairs of the state and take the Bihar turnaround story forward, but he, by breaking the state NDA government, had committed the first major mistake.”Nitish, in fact, insulted the popular mandate when he broke the BJP-JD(U) alliance,” SuMo said, adding he forged alliance with RJD chief Lalu Prasad even as the mandate given to him was to stall the return of Lalu.Subsequently, during the parliamentary elections, Nitish tried to create obstacles in the way of the then PM candidate of the BJP Narendra Modi, who wanted to give a strong government at the Centre, SuMo said, and added that even though Nitish came as a cropper in his bid, he owes an apology to the people of the state.In his bid to wrest power from now caretaker CM Jitan Ram Manjhi, Nitish forced Speaker Uday Narayan Choudhary to take unconstitutional steps, he said, adding he also made unbecoming remarks against governor K N Tripathi. These were two instances of insulting the constitutional posts, which also require an apology from him.On the other hand, BJP national spokesman and former Bhagalpur MP Shahnawaz Hussain said that Nitish, who had campaigned actively against Lalu and declaration of the President’s rule during his ‘Nyaya Yatra’ in March 2005, had now ensured the return of Lalu and his party to power in the state after around 10 years.”The new government that Nitish would lead will not be only of him, but Nitish-Lalu rule for all practical purposes,” Shahnawaz said.Meanwhile, the state BJP felicitated Union minister for skill development Rajiv Pratap Rudy for flying the Sukhoi plane. Shahnawaz said he is the only Union minister and only Bihari to have achieved this feat.The gravity of power in Delhi rests at 7 RCR – Race Course Road, the prime minister’s residence. In Patna, the new centre of power is 7 CR – Circular Road, Nitish Kumar’s residence. The physical distance between these two power centres is 1031 km. But the political distance between the residents of these two famous addresses is infinite.

If Kejriwal can, so can I

In May, Narendra Modi had handed Nitish Kumar the biggest political defeat of his life. His party, the Janta Dal United, had been routed in the Lok Sabha polls, its tally crashing from 20 in 2009 to two in 2014. The JD(U) was in disarray, critics within were clamouring for Nitish’s head. “Sushasan Babu” as he was called, took moral responsibility and stepped down. Nitish couldn’t reconcile to the scale of the defeat and that too at the hands of his arch-nemesis, the man over whose elevation he had split his party’s 17-year alliance with the BJP. His famed social engineering formula of bringing together the Extremely Backward Castes (EBCs) had flopped. Even the Muslims of Bihar had not rallied around Nitish. Shoulders drooping, morale crushed, it seemed the end of the political road for a man who had tried to remove the so-called stigma of being a “Bihari”.

Nitish copy

But nine months is a long time in politics. Cut to February 2015. Narendra Modi has tasted the first electoral defeat under his leadership at the hands of the diminutive Arvind Kejriwal. The AAP’s heroics were one of the key triggers for Nitish Kumar to demand the CM’s chair back from Jitan Ram Manjhi. Though many years decades senior to Kejriwal in politics, the JD(U) chief was inspired by the spirited campaign the Aam Aadmi Party leader ran to rout the mighty BJP in the capital. If Kejriwal can, so can I, thought Nitish. In the first week of February as opinion polls and feedback from the ground started showing that Kejriwal was winning Delhi, Nitish decided to take advantage of the fact that the BJP was distracted and under pressure.

A renunciation gone horribly wrong

What Nitish didn’t account for was Manjhi’s refusal to step down from the CM’s post. The hitherto unknown Manjhi had been handpicked by Nitish as his replacement because he rarely spoke, was known not to have strong views and could be expected to follow the dictation given by his boss.

On all three counts, Manjhi proved Nitish wrong. His tenure was riddled by a series of controversial statements. From justifying his son’s extra-marital affair with a married police woman to saying it was okay for the poor to indulge in black marketing and hoarding to going to the extent of suggesting that wives couldn’t be trusted when their husbands travelled for work outside Bihar, Manjhi was blurting a blooper a week.For the first three months, Manjhi dutifully implemented whatever Nitish wanted. But a coterie of leaders and Dalit bureaucrats around him started pumping him up by telling him what a wonderful job he was doing and how he was being seen as a big hope by Bihar’s numerically significant Dalits.The BJP played a big role in prodding Manjhi to go against his one time mentor. The Senior BJP leaders were in constant touch with the CM. They were offering him full support and even telling him that the BJP would offer tickets to the JD(U) MLAs who Manjhi was able to break away from Nitish’s fold.Turbocharged by the support being promised by the BJP, Manjhi decided to free himself of the umbilical cord tying him to Nitish. The former CM’s trusted bureaucrats were shunted to insignificant posts and Manjhi brought in his own men. He even announced a series of populist but fiscally imprudent measures with an eye on consolidating the Dalit vote bank. The Mahadalits may have been a category of castes brought together by Nitish but Manjhi wanted to be their undisputed leader.

Buil-up to the anti-climax

His protégé had gone rogue and aides were putting pressure on Nitish to crack the whip against Manjhi. But Nitish was initially hesitant. After all he had taken the high moral ground while resigning and electorally nothing had changed since May. But anti-incumbency against the JD(U) government was spiralling, corruption was rampant again and the law and order situation was deteriorating rapidly. During a flight from Patna to Delhi in January, a young Bihari walked up to the former CM and gave him a piece of his mind for letting Bihar fall back into the dark ages. The young man’s admonition, Nitish claims, left a deep mark and he realised that he had to act before it was too late.There were at least three dozen disgruntled MLAs in the JD(U) who had indicated that they were willing to back Manjhi. The rebel RJD MP Pappu Yadav was also hard at working mobilising support for the CM. Lalu’s grip on his party seemed shaky and more than a dozen RJD MLAs indicated that they were willing to jump ship. With the BJP coming out and declaring open support for the CM 48 hours before the vote of confidence, Manjhi was hopeful his boat would sail through comfortably. The magic figure of 117 was within sight.

But the day before the vote of confidence the Patna High Court dealt a double whammy to Manjhi. Eight JD(U) rebel MLAs were disqualified from participating in the vote of confidence on February 20. The court also upheld key Nitish man and Bihar speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary’s controversial decision to grant the JD(U) the status of the opposition party in the Assembly.

Suddenly Manjhi was still in government but in fact he was all alone. Had a vote of confidence taken place on Friday, the Vidhan Sabha in Patna would have witnessed the unprecedented scene of a CM sitting all by himself in the treasury benches. Manjhi had been expelled from the JD(U) but most of his supposed supporters were officially still members of Nitish’s party. Because the JD(U) had issued a whip, even Manjhi’s backers would have had to sit in the opposition benches along side the 87 BJP MLAs. The speaker had already ruled out a secret ballot. Every MLA who disobeyed the party whip and voted for Manjhi would have risked disqualification under the Anti-Defection Law.


The ambitious protégé had been checkmated by his wily mentor. Manjhi realised that his time was up when 98 JD(U) MLAs, 22 RJD MLAs and five Congress MLAs showed up at the dinner hosted by Nitish Kumar the night before the vote of confidence. Jubilation was in the air. Nitish was beaming. His swagger was back. The JD(U)’s joyous MLAs hailed it as the “victory feast”.


At the same time, there was another dinner being hosted across the road at the chief minister’s residence. Only a dozen Manjhi loyalists had shown up. Two of them, Manjhi later said, had come covered in a bed-sheet to avoid being spotted by Nitish’s men who were on the look out. The elaborate catering had been done by Patna’s famed Maurya Hotel. But the food had lost its taste. The MLAs were scared of being forced to resign. Manjhi summoned his secretariat at midnight and got them to type out three letters.


The first letter to the governor sought dissolution of the house. The second was his resignation letter. The third was a complaint to the governor against the partisan behaviour of the speaker. To fight or to throw in the towel, that was the question. Till 3am Manjhi was busy in confabulations with his aides. Without telling them what he was thinking, the CM went to to his room to ruminate over his next step.


When he woke up early the next morning, Manjhi was clear. He would not risk the ignominy of being all alone on the treasury benches. There was a real possibility of the JD(U) and the BJP MLAs coming to blows. Manjhi decided to shun bravado and chose a tactical retreat instead.


Minutes before the governor Keshari Nath Tripathi was slated to arrive at the Bihar Assembly to deliver his address, Manjhi decided to pay him an unscheduled visit. Manjhi means boatsman in Hindi. Instead of drowning with his boat, Manjhi decided to jump off the sinking vessel and swim to the shore. He wanted to live to fight another day.


Aftershocks in battlefield Bihar


Manjhi’s summersault left the BJP red-faced. His handlers in the saffron party had wanted Manjhi to deliver an emotional farewell address and go down in a blaze of glory. The BJP hoped Manjhi would attain political martyrdom and emerge as a pan-Bihar Dalit icon. The BJP wanted Manjhi to form his own party, which would cut into Nitish’s crucial Mahadalit vote. Along with RJD renegade Pappu Yadav, the BJP was banking on the emergence of a third front which would split the anti-BJP vote. Pappu Yadav was to eat into Lalu’s Yadav vote bank while Manjhi chipped away at Nitish’s support among the Mahadalits. The BJP wanted to divide and rule. In the Lok Sabha elections, the party had swept Bihar because the anti-BJP vote was split. In the Assembly elections too, the party wanted to avoid a consolidation of the anti-Modi vote. Nitish could have potentially united the non-saffron vote and brought back a semblance of governance to Bihar in the last six months before the Assembly elections. The BJP had wanted to stop Nitish at all costs from becoming CM again.


Instead, Manjhi’s histrionics helped Nitish reestablish his control over the JD(U). Dissenters have been silenced, at least for the time being. It has also removed the speed breakers slowing down the proposed merger between the JD(U) and Lalu’s RJD. The tension of Manjhi’s rebellion saw the JD(U) and the RJD leaders working closely together to prevent their flock from fleeing. Voters of the two parties may not yet be fully reconciled to the proposed merger between the two parties, but the leaders realise that it is a question of survival and are working towards the micro-detailing of the merger with renewed vigour.


Who benefits from Manjhi’s boat sinking


For the time being, Manjhi is keeping his cards close to his chest. Speaking to the India Today Group during a walk in the lawns of his 1, Anne Marg residence the day after his resignation, Manjhi dropped hints about his future course of action. “People thought I was a puppet of the BJP but I have shown that I am truly independent. Even today I have nothing against Nitish Kumar. If the new government carries forward the pro-poor schemes announced by me, then I will support the new government. Otherwise I will travel all across Bihar and campaign against Nitish.” Lalu Yadav has thrown ajar the doors of the Janata Parivar by asking Manjhi to bury past differences and return to the “secular fold”.


The BJP is trying hard to play down the significance of the Manjhi plan backfiring. “We have shown the people of Bihar that the BJP sided with the son of a Mahadalit while Nitish was scheming to oust Manjhi. This will hurt the JD(U) in the elections,” senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Modi told the India Today Group at his residence in Patna. When asked whether Manjhi will join the BJP in the near future, Modi turned philosophical. “In the darkness you cannot see beyond the light of a torch. In politics you can only see what is happening today not what might happen tomorrow. No one can predict what happens six months later and who knows what Manjhi will do next.”


The worst case scenario for the BJP is Manjhi mending fences with Nitish and returning to the Janata Parivar. They are planning on targeting Nitish by highlighting 15 years of jungle raj under his new partner Lalu. “Nitish cannot become Bihar’s Kejriwal while he has Lalu by his side,” said Sushil Modi. Nitish’s defence is that most of the strongmen like Pappu Yadav, Sadhu Yadav, Subhash Yadav and Shahbbuddin who gave Lalu’s government a bad name are no longer in the RJD.


The chief minister is turning his swearing-in into a major show of strength for anti-Modi forces. Apart from his fellow travellers from the Janata Parivar, Lalu Yadav and Mulayam Singh Yadav, West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee will also be in attendance. Sharing the dais will be CP Joshi from the Congress, former PM Deve Gowda and Abhay and Dushyant Chautala from Haryana’s INLD.


Arvind Kejriwal has not been invited to Nitish’s swearing-in. When asked why, he said, “Journalists get carried away by what’s been in the news recently. Kejriwal has to do his work in Delhi and we have to do ours in Bihar”. The new Delhi CM may be absent at the swearing-in function, but his heroics will linger in the thoughts of Bihar’s comeback man.

Once framed by BJP’s rhetoric as“Chillar Party” to AAP, is now invited by PM Narendra Modi to AAP Founder Arvind Kejriwal for ‘Chai Pe Charcha’. Kejriwal & Co decimate BJP.

 Once framed by BJP’s  rhetoric  as“Chillar  Party” to AAP, is now invited by PM Narendra Modi  to AAP Founder Arvind Kejriwal for ‘Chai Pe Charcha’. Kejriwal & Co decimate BJP.

The Bharatiya Janata Party said Tuesday the Delhi Assembly election results were a “big setback” and it would soon introspect the reasons behind the dismal showing.

The party also said that Delhi’s loss is a “collective failure” of the party and the defeat cannot be thrown on any single individual, seen as an attempt to deflect any blame on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The party leaders while congratulating Arvind Kejriwal, hoped he will now fulfil the promises made to people and ensure development of Delhi even as the Centre promised to extend all its support to the new government.

BJP Spokesperson Sudhanshu Trivedi said, ”It is a big setback for us. We will assess the reasons of the defeat. We accept the verdict of the people and hope Kejriwal fulfils his promises made to people. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, the Centre will extend all its help to Delhi government.”

Party general secretary P. Murlidhar Rao said, “BJP’s defeat in Delhi elections is a collective failure of our party. It cannot be thrown on any single individual. We all own the loss.”

”Election results for Delhi state is a setback for BJP. BJP accepts d(the) defeat in Delhi elections. We respect the verdict n(and) positively cooperate with Delhi government on d development,” Rao tweeted.

He felt that Haryana elections, where BJP got a majority, has not impacted Delhi polls.

“Why Delhi elections will impact BJP in other states”.   ”Extending d Verdict of Delhi elections to unrelated issues is like stretching too far. Central govt performance was not d election issue,” he said in another tweet.

Another BJP Spokesperson Nalin Kohli said the party will assess the reasons why the party failed to appeal to Delhi voters and hoped Kejriwal will fulfil all the promises made.

”It is a huge victory for AAP. BJP would certainly assess what were the reasons that we have not not been able to appeal to the voters of Delhi. We wish well for AAP for delivering on the promises made and give Delhi a good government,” he said.

Party’s Delhi unit chief Satish Upadhyay admitted that the party failed to understand the mood of the people.

Upadhyay said, ”We accept the mandate given by the people of Delhi. We failed to understand the mood of the people. BJP will continue to serve the people as it had been doing in the past. I congratulate Kejriwal on his victory.”

Another party spokesperson G.V.L. Narsimha Rao said the polls were a referendum on Kejriwal and could not be seen as reflection on the performance of the Modi government as local issues dominated the polls.

”I do not see in this way,” he said when asked whether the elections were a referendum on Modi’s performance.

”In this election it was a referendum on Arvind Kejriwal. That’s how people of Delhi saw it. I think people have certainly voted for Kejriwal. It was a referendum of AAP’s 49 days in office and its performance. People felt they should be given a chance,” he said.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav has also congratulated Kejriwal for his victory in the Delhi polls.

Congress president Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi congratulated Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday for Aam Aadmi Party’s landslide victory in the Delhi Assembly polls in which Congress failed to score.

”My congratulations to Arvind Kejriwal and Aam Aadmi party for their victory. The people of Delhi have chosen AAP and we respect that. I wish Kejriwal and his team the very best”, Rahul said.

An All India Congress Committee statement said the Congress president and vice-president congratulated Kejriwal.

Congress has failed to open its account in the 70-member House, prompting Ajay Maken, who was the party’s face in the Delhi polls, to resign from the post of general secretary, taking moral responsibility for the humiliating defeat at the hustings.

Congress had won eight seats in the last Assembly polls in Delhi held in 2013, which had delivered a hung verdict. Congress had lost power in those elections after being at the helm for 15-long years under the leadership of Sheila Dikshit.


The capital was without a government for almost a year and the vote to elect a new set of lawmakers was much more than local politics. The state poll turned into a battle between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and the anti-corruption campaigner Arvind Kejriwal of the Aam Aadmi Party.

AAP declared a wholesale victory on Tuesday spelling the first major setback for a BJP electoral juggernaut that started with a victory in the national parliamentary vote in May.

Main points:
  •  AAP  won over 90% of the seats in the state assembly.
  • Mr. Kejriwal will be sworn in as chief minister on Feb. 14. 
  • The BJP  won three seats.
  • Congress, that ruled Delhi for 15 years until 2013, won no seats. 
  • India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi called Arvind Kejriwal to congratulate him on his party’s victory in the city.
  • Why is the election happening now just over a year since the previous state poll?

    You might not have noticed, but India’s capital city has not had an elected government since February last year when Arvind Kejriwal quit after just 49 days as chief minister.

    The national capital has since been under president’s rule, awaiting either a different government to take charge or another round of elections.

    The first option proved difficult because no party had won a majority. The Bharatiya Janata Party came first followed by the Aam Aadmi Party leaving Congress a distant third. AAP formed a government with support from the Congress.

    After Mr. Kejriwal stepped down, no other coalition emerged.  Months of consultations later, the state’s lieutenant governor recommended fresh elections in Delhi, which were held on Feb. 7.   Results are announced today.

  • The opinion polls and exit polls have had their say and given the lead to AAP. But they’ve been wrong before. Who do you think will win Delhi elections today?


    • 7:35 am
    • – If You Believe the Exit Polls, Today Is All About AAP

    Most exit polls released on Saturday suggested a comfortable majority for the Aam Aadmi Party. Some predicted a sweeping one.

    A poll by ABP News gave AAP a 17-seat lead over the BJP saying it would win 43 of 70 seats in Delhi’s legislative assembly. The poll said the BJP would trail with just 26 seats. Another poll, by the India Today media group, gave between 38 and 46 seats to AAP and only 19 to 27 to the BJP.

    If they hold true, this would be the first electoral bloody nose for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party since they stormed to power in federal elections in May.

    • 7:41 am
    • This Year, Delhi’s Electorate Outvoted Itself

    Delhi has just outvoted itself.  In 2013, a record 65.13% of voters cast a ballot. On Saturday, 67.11% of the 10 million registered voters turned out, breaking the previous year’s record.

    • 7:42 am
    • Megacity

    While close to 9 million people voted in the Delhi elections. The union territory and its nearby suburbs make one of the biggest clusters of humanity in the world. A World Bank Report last year put the region’s population at around 25 million people, ranking it the second-most populous city in the world after Tokyo. Delhi is likely to add another 10 million inhabitants in the next 16 years, the report said.

    • 7:45 am
    • Kejriwal Tweets Request for Prayers

    The Aam Aadmi Party’s Arvind Kejriwal was up early asking for people’s prayers on Twitter as Delhi awaits election results.

    • 7:53 am

    BJP chief minister candidate Kiran Bedi spared a thought on Twitter for the poor hacks up at the break of dawn to cover the election results. “I don’t think anyone can envy the media profession,” she tweeted.

    • 7:56 am
    • How Reliable Are Exit Polls?

    According to most exit polls from Saturday’s vote, the Aam Aadmi Party is headed for victory in the state election when results are announced today. Exit polling can be unreliable in India but it’s worth looking at which ones got it right last time round during state elections in 2013.

    News 24 -Today’s Chanakya poll came the closest. It predicted the Aam Aadmi Party would win 31 seats.

    In fact, AAP won 28 of 70 seats and formed a government with support from the Congress party.

    In the exit poll released Saturday, Chanakya predicted AAP would win a clear majority with 48 seats.

    • 8:00 am
    • Exit Poll Accuracy

    An exit poll released by ABP News, a news station, and a survey conducted by Nielsen in 2013 predicted a slim majority for the Bharatiya Janata Party and only 15 seats for the upstart Aam Aadmi Party.

    The minimum number of seats required to govern the 70-member Delhi assembly is 36.

    For the 2015 election, the poll predicts AAP will do much better with 39 seats and the BJP will win between 37 to 28 seats.

    • 8:02 am
    • Counting Has Started

    When polls closed at 6 p.m. on Saturday, the more than 12,000 electronic voting machines were put under lock, key, CCTV, and police guard.

    Then, this morning, they were taken to 14 different counting centers that each have several counting halls where counting supervisors and their assistants press the “result button” on each machine.

    The layout inside a counting hall looks something like this.

    Election Commission of India

    Counting can run into several rounds and is sometimes repeated before the returning officer announces the winner and final tally for each candidate.

    • 8:03 am
    • Ugly Fight

    Many observers said the campaign to capture control of Delhi was uglier than most political campaigns. There were a lot of personal attacks and some mud-slinging, often through pamphlets stuck in newspapers.

    • 8:04 am
    • Selfie Promoter

    As part of its campaign, the BJP built more than 1,000 selfie-with-Modi booths–many of them on the back of little trucks–which set up in shopping malls, parking lots and street corners across the state. They let people take selfies using an app that made it look like they were standing with the prime minister. The BJP says that over half a million selfies were taken at the booths.

    • 8:06 am
    • Modi vs. Kejriwal

    Unlike previous state elections, where Mr. Modi focused largely on his development agenda, the Indian Prime Minister ran a direct attack campaign against Mr. Kejriwal. In rallies, Mr. Modi accused the AAP leader of dishonestly accumulating money for his campaign. The allegations against AAP – that some of its funds come from shell companies involved in money laundering — have not been investigated. Yogendra Yadav, a senior AAP leader has said that the party would “investigate shady companies” giving it money.

    In the end, in this David and Goliath-style struggle, Mr. Modi came off as trying too hard to bring Mr. Kejriwal down.

    • 8:07 am
    • Stock Market Is Scared

    Power and property shares fell Monday after exit polls over the weekend suggested the AAP could capture majority control of Delhi’s assembly. Some analysts and investors are worried that the party of the protesting politician Arvind Kejriwal could cause trouble for companies in the capital region. Power companies and property companies in particular could be hurt, analysts say, if Mr. Kejriwal comes to power and tries to implement policies to lower voters’ electricity bills and rents.

    • 8:09 am
    • Star Campaigners and Their Constituencies

    Constituency: New Delhi

    Why it Matters: Arvind Kejriwal, Delhi’s former chief minister, is again running for office from the elite New Delhi constituency. In 2013, Mr. Kejriwal triumphed here, defeating the Congress party’s Sheila Dikshit, at the time the incumbent chief minister. This year, Mr. Kejriwal was challenged by the BJP’s Nupur Sharma, a former president of  the Delhi University Student Union and a law graduate from the London School of Economics.

    Constituency: Krishna Nagar

    Why it Matters: Kiran Bedi, the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, is contesting elections from east Delhi’s Krishna Nagar constituency. The constituency has been dominated by the BJP for more than two decades. A post-poll analysis by The Hindu, an Indian English-language daily newspaper, suggested that Saturday’s turnout in Krishan Nagar was about 72%, up from 68% in 2013.

    Constituency: Sadar Bazaar

    Why it Matters: The beleaguered Congress party’s star campaigner, Ajay Maken, a former member of parliament, is running from central Delhi’s Sadar Bazaar. In 2013, the Aam Aadmi Party won the seat — defeating a Congress party candidate who had won the seat since 1993.

    • 8:10 am
    • First Lead to BJP – TV

    That didn’t take long. Vijender Gupta of the BJP is leading in Rohini, in outer Delhi, according to NDTV. The first lead in counting that began at 8a.m. with postal votes.

    • 8:10 am
    • Referendum

    While the Bharatiya Janata Party has been quick to say the Delhi elections are not a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first eight months in office, the ruling party was not shy about putting Mr. Modi’s photo on most campaign advertisements.

    But is this election a referendum on Modi? This question will be hotly debated in television studios and outside if the BJP loses the election. The party has credited a wave of support for Mr. Modi and his development agenda for its recent electoral victories. So, is a defeat in the center of power indicative of his waning popularity, or a comment on his government’s economic program?

    The BJP’s spokespeople have preempted this line of questioning. Shaina NC of the BJP said “results in Delhi can’t be linked to the Prime Minister’s work.” And the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate in Delhi, Kiran Bedi, said in televised statements last week that she would take responsibility for the party’s performance, an apparent effort to shield Mr. Modi from criticism.

    To be sure, political analysts also say Mr. Modi remains overwhelmingly popular in other parts of the country and that Delhi’s elections reflect local issues rather than national preferences. Still, if the BJP loses, questions about whether the Modi wave is beginning to plateau will surface.

    • 8:16 am
    • AAP Takes a Lead in Mangol Puri – TV

    Rakhi Bidlan of AAP is leading in Mangol Puri, outer Delhi according to NDTV and Somnath Bharti leads in Malviya Nagar.

    The BJP gets another lead in Janakpuri, central Delhi

    So, according to leads on T.V.,  it’s two all.

    • 8:17 am
    • Festive Mood at AAP

    As counting began, hundreds of AAP supporters—from rickshaw-pullers to young students—gathered outside the party’s office in the western reaches of the capital. The song “Long Live Revolution” blasted from loudspeakers.

    Photo credit: Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal

    • 8:20 am
    • Kejriwal in High Spirits

    AAP’s Arvind Kejriwal seems unperturbed by early results showing a close race with the BJP. While waiting for election results he’s watching, and sharing, parody videos of himself.

    • 8:24 am
    • How AAP Won Delhi in 2013

    In its debut election, the Aam Aadmi Party had quite a showing. It won 28 of the 70 seats it contested. Most of the support, at the time, came from the southern and central parts of the national capital, home to the city’s upper and middle classes.

    But Mr. Kejriwal managed to leave these groups that backed him slightly miffed when he decided to quit office not even two months into the job.

    This time, analysts say, he is set to gain from the city’s poor and lower-income communities, or the “urban underdogs,” who seemed pleased with Mr. Kejriwal’s short stint as chief minister when he cut electricity and water prices.

    • 8:26 am
    • Kiran Bedi for CM?

    The former police officer known for her fight against corruption might be a right fit for Indian politics. But she appears to have become a victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Parachuted into the BJP just three weeks before the election, Ms. Bedi was quickly declared the party’s chief ministerial candidate. That decision set off discontent among the BJP’s longtime leaders who felt upstaged by the newcomer. If the polls are correct and the BJP don’t win today, Ms. Bedi could be made the scapegoat.

    • 8:28 am
    • Big Business Basher

    Arvind Kejriwal’s campaign against corruption has not only been aimed at politicians and bureaucrats. The AAP has said it plans to cut power prices in Delhi in half by looking into the books of the big power companies for proof that they are pocketing too much profit.

    • 8:29 am
    • Jail Time

    The Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief minister candidate, Kiran Bedi, made her name as a high-profile police woman.  She worked in the narcotics bureau, the northeastern state of Mizoram and as inspector general of Tihar jail.  Ms. Bedi is widely credited with turning around the jail and introducing significant reforms to the treatment of prisoners,including introducing yoga and meditation programs for inmates.

    Mr. Kejriwal too spent time in Tihar. He was arrested in 2014 and sent to the Delhi jail briefly after a senior BJP politician accused him of defamation. Mr. Kejriwal denies the allegations.

    • 8:30 am
    • In Delhi, is AAP the New Congress?

    Mr. Kejriwal denies his party is left-leaning with a welfare-oriented bent. But his policies, including cheap electricity and free water, and his promise to take on Delhi’s large power distribution companies, have given AAP a pro-poor image.

    That used to be the Congress party’s territory. But exit polls suggested Congress has lost considerable ground among India’s poor communities and its sway with disadvantaged caste groups has declined.

    A poll by the India Today group suggested that support for the Congress in groups the organization classifies as “working class” and “lower middle class” has shrunk to roughly 16% while nearly 45% of such voters preferred AAP.

    According to an exit poll by Today’s Chanakya, an Indian survey company, 55% of votes of Delhi’s lower castes went to AAP, with Congress getting less than 10%.

    • 8:31 am
    • AAP Funding

    Donations to AAP are rather like its political fortunes — up and down. After the party fared poorly in national elections, funding almost dried up. On one day in October last year just 713 rupees was donated to the party. But in recent weeks, as AAP has regained popularity among voters, donors have begun to open their wallets again and funding for the party has soared.

    • 8:33 am
    • AAP Takes Lead

    At around 8:30 a.m. the common man’s Party was ahead in the earliest vote tallies, leading in the contests for 10 seats in the Delhi elections compared to BJP’s 9 seats Congress’s 2 seats.

    • 8:35 am
    • – Which Way did Delhi’s Middle Class Vote?

    A key demographic that political pundits will be watching is the middle class vote. According to a study of the 2013 state elections in Delhi by the Center for the Study of Developing Societies, a New Delhi-based think tank, a third of voters it classified as middle class – who earn between $250 and $380 a month – picked AAP.

    Some political analysts believed these voters had turned against Mr. Kejriwal after he quit just 49 days into his term as chief minister last year. Many of them had begun to see him as an anarchist and a rabble rouser. But, if AAP wins the kind of broad victory exit polls are projecting for it, it appears many among Delhi’s middle class may have wanted to give Mr. Kejriwal another chance.

    • 8:37 am
    • Anarchist Leader
    AFP/Getty Images

    While Arvind Kejriwal seemed to have become a bit more calm and confident in this campaign, in the run up to the previous election and even during his brief stint as chief minister of Delhi, he did not shy away from creating chaos.  He led protests, staged a roadside sit-in and even called himself an anarchist.

    • 8:37 am
    • AAP supporters to Modi: Watch Out

    Vansh Saluja, a 19-year-old law-school student, is among those chanting slogans outside the Aam Aadmi Party’s office. “Modi should watch out,” he says of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, whose BJP is the main rival in the Delhi state elections. “The new India, the young India, doesn’t vote on caste or religion. AAP is the only party that didn’t campaign on those lines,” says Mr. Saluja. “That’s why I’m here.”

    Photo credit: Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal

    • 8:42 am
    • Eric Bellman

    Some of the first shots fired in the battle between Arvind Kejriwal and Kiran Bedi—former anti-corruption movement buddies—were through Twitter.

    Not long after it was announced that the former police woman was running with the BJP for chief minister, Mr. Kejriwal took to Twitter to challenge her to a debate and then ask why she had blocked him.

    — Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) January 20, 2015

    To which Ms. Bedi responded…

    • 8:44 am
    • Early Call?

    The television news station CNN-IBN Live says political pundits are claiming they will be able to call the election as early as 9 a.m. The station shows the Aam Aadmi Party leading in two constituencies with the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress Party following with one each.

    • 8:46 am
    • A Short History of the AAP Candidate Leading from Malviya Nagar

    Aam Aadmi party leader Somnath Bharti is currently leading from south Delhi’s Malviya Nagar constituency, according to NDTV. He became a controversial figure for actions he took as the state’s law minister during AAP’s brief period in power last year. He ordered police to search a house in Delhi’s Khirki Extension that he suspected was a brothel. Mr. Bharti and his aides detained four Ugandan women at the scene after police said they lacked a judicial warrant for a search. The episode stiffened ties between India and Uganda, and prompted some African immigrants to move out of the Indian capital.

    • 8:47 am
    • BJP Scared

    Sambit Patra, BJP spokesman, says “What I’m seeing definitely scares me.”

    This is what he’s seeing. AAP is leading in 20 seats. The party needs 35 to win a simple majority.

    The BJP has 10 early leads in the city and Congress five.

    • 8:48 am
    • Refresher on Results of 2013

    The December 2013 elections left the state with a hung assembly. Of the 70 seats, Aam Aadmi Party got 28 back then,  Bharatiya Janata Party got 31, Congress got 08 and Janata Dal (United) and Shiromani Akali Dal got one each. There was also one independent candidate that won a seat.

    • 8:48 am
    • 8:49 am
    • AAP’s Lead Growing

    As the results come in it’s becoming clear that it will be hard for the BJP to catch up to AAP’s lead. WSJ columnist Sadanand Dhume tweets that the only question left is when the BJP will admit defeat.

    • 8:53 am
    • Screens Flashing

    India’s many television news channels are all working hard. Even before results have come in, their screens are stuffed with statistics. Headline Today’s screen barely had space for the news anchor.

    • 8:54 am
    • – Wither Congress?

    If Congress proved to be an underperformer in the previous Delhi elections, it has been something of a non-entity in this one. The party, which governed Delhi for 15 years before the 2013 polls in the national capital, ran a lackluster campaign.

    It won a fourth of Delhi’s votes in the previous election – at the time that was considered a dismal performance for the party. This time around, its vote share could fall below 15%, exit polls say. Its tally of seats in the legislative assembly could drop from 8 to below 5.

    The reason? Polls show Congress may have lost support among its most-loyal constituencies: the city’s poor and Muslim residents.

    • 8:55 am
    • Mistakes That May Have Cost Mr. Modi the Delhi Government

    Delhi has been waiting for an election for nearly a year since Mr. Kejriwal stepped down as chief minister in February 2014. The BJP could have called for one at any time after it swept the national vote in May last year. Mr. Modi and his team may have waited too long and missed the Modi wave.

    Political analysts say the BJP would have been better-placed if it had gone to the polls in Delhi shortly after the nationwide vote in which the party won a historic victory. AAP, on the other hand, won only four of 543 seats in that election and lost all seven seats in Delhi.

    The fledgling party looked weak and out of depth then. But in the months that followed, it regrouped to prepare for the Delhi vote.

    • 8:56 am
    • Paanch Saal Kejriwal Song

    Mr. Kejriwal lasted 49 days as chief minister of Delhi before he resigned after not being able to pass anticorruption legislation. His party has since tried to use that short stint as a selling point. AAP has tried to remind voters of what he did during those 49 days and promised that if elected again, he’ll stay in office for five years. They’ve even written a song about it titled “Paanch Saal Kejriwal” or “Five Years Kejriwal.”

    • 8:57 am
    • What a Defeat Would Mean for Modi

    First, it would put the brakes on the BJP’s winning spree. Since the party won a landslide victory in national elections in May, it has won state elections in Haryana, Jharkhand and Maharashtra as it seeks to expand its base outside its traditional strongholds.

    Second, a loss would hamper Mr. Modi’s efforts to consolidate his party’s position in the upper house of India’s Parliament where his political opponents, who are in the majority there, are obstructing his policies.

    Third, it would come as a personal embarrassment for Mr. Modi, who campaigned extensively in this election and governs the country from Delhi, and dent his image as India’s most-popular leader in recent years.

    Fourth, it could embolden opposition parties at the federal level and in states, where his political dominance has overshadowed other political players.

    • 8:57 am
    • “Major Implications” Beyond the City’s Boundaries

    Political analyst Navnita Chadha Behera, professor in the department of political science at Delhi University, said the outcome of the Delhi election “would have major implications far beyond the boundaries of the capital city.”

    “A victory for the BJP would reaffirm Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s countrywide popularity,” she said.

    On the other hand, a win for AAP, which has put up a spirited campaign under the leadership of Arvind Kejriwal, “would be the first major setback for Mr. Modi” in the nine months since he won the national election,” Ms. Behera said. “The AAP’s victory would stop the Modi juggernaut.”

    For the first time, Delhi is witnessing a direct two-way contest between the Bharatiya Janata Party and Aam Aadmi Party.  The Congress party, which ruled Delhi for 15 years until December 2013, has trailed badly this time in exit polls.

    • 8:58 am
    • AAP First

    We read AAP’s manifesto so you don’t have to.

    High on its agenda is to pass the Jan Lokpal bill, the anti-corruption legislation that Mr. Kejriwal couldn’t get through the assembly in 2014, leading to his resignation as chief minister.


    • 9:00 am
    • New AAP Candidates

    Sandeep Shastri, a political analyst on CNN-IBN said that so far it looks like the Aam Aadmi Party did a better job of choosing new candidates this time. Early results suggest that AAP is winning in the constituencies where AAP picked different candidates than those that ran in 2013. The Bharatiya Janata Party has not done as well with its new candidates.

    • 9:01 am
    • The Election Commission Website Shows First Preliminary Results

    The Election Commission’s official website just flashed the first preliminary results, showing that AAP’s Som Dutt is leading in the central Delhi constituency of Sadar Bazar. Ajay Maken, who led the campaign for the Congress party, is trailing there by more than 3,400 votes.

    Meanwhile, television news channels are projecting a big overall lead for AAP. NDTV says AAP is leading in 32 of 70 assembly constituencies.

    • 9:01 am
    • What Happened to the WagonR?
    AFP/Getty Images

    He was rarely photographed without it during his first campaign for Delhi. He even held meetings with his ministers in the boxy, blue vehicle.

    But Arvind Kejriwal’s trusty WagonR—the car that connected him with the common man—has been out of the picture in recent weeks. Did it break down? Has he started using Uber instead? We want to know—what happened to the WagonR?

    • 9:03 am
    • A Brief Appearance

    A smile, a wave and a brief appearance by the Bharatiya Janata Party’s chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi. Ms. Bedi spoke briefly from the balcony of a residence where she said the state election results are not a referendum on her party’s performance in the national government. She says “the defeat is mine and not a reflection of the party.”

    Ms. Bedi is contesting from Krishna Nagar, where she is leading, according to CNN-IBN and NDTV news stations.

    • 9:06 am
    • Media Revival

    After national elections in May, Arvind Kejriwal—who used to make headlines daily—all but disappeared from the media. The tally of the total number of English news articles he was mentioned on in on Factiva shows he was largely ignored during the second half of 2014. He started making a comeback however in early January.

    • 9:07 am
    • APP Lead Widens

    Early results being broadcast on NDTV suggest that AAP is ahead on the votes for 36 seats giving it a majority at around 9:00 a.m. while BJP is only ahead on 12 seats. Meanwhile the Congress party is ahead in the races for 4 of the 70 Delhi assembly seats.

    • 9:07 am
    • AAP Supporters: We Want a Corruption-Free Delhi

    Rajiv Jain, 40, and his wife, Samta, who run a jewelry shop, are among scores of people who have skipped a day of work to volunteer at the Aam Aadmi Party office. They say they are frustrated by how long it took to obtain licenses and permits to set up their small business. “At every step, we had someone asking for money to get the job done,” Mr. Jain says. He voted for Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP because it has its roots in India’s 2012 anticorruption movement. “All we want is a corruption-free Delhi.”

    Photo credit: Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal

    • 9:12 am
    • Markets Bracing for BJP Defeat

    India’s stock market braced for another weak day as the Aam Aadmi Party looked likely to get majority in Delhi state elections. The benchmark S&P Sensex index has already lost 5% in the last week after various exit polls showed the Bharatiya Janata Party trailing in the race to govern the national capital. It ended down 1.7% Monday. “Traders are disappointed and shocked as the market was not expecting this kind of verdict,” said  Vinod Nair, head of fundamental research at Geojit BNP Paribas Financial Services. An AAP win will likely hit power and real-estate companies operating in the Delhi region, analysts said. has promised to cut electricity tariffs.

    • 9:14 am
    • Politics Is India’s National Sport

    The Cricket World Cup is on, but all eyes are on India’s real national sport—elections, tweets Anand Mahindra, chairman and managing director of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd:

    • 9:18 am
    • BJP’s Kiran Bedi is Officially Trailing

    Trends on the Election Commission website look good for Aam Aadmi. AAP is now leading in 24 constituencies, according to the commission, including east Delhi’s Krishna Nagar, from where the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, Kiran Bedi, is running for office. Ms. Bedi is almost 300 votes behind AAP’s S.K. Bagga.

    Take a look at this pie chart from the Election Commission, which shows the vote-share for each party as vote-counting continues.

    • 9:19 am
    • Suryatapa Bhattacharya
    Agence France-Presse/Getty Images

    Author Chetan Bhagat said the pin-striped suit which Prime Minister Narendra Modi wore during  President Barack Obama’s visit in January is partly to blame for the defeat that the Bharatiya Janata Party is facing in the Delhi election.

    “That suit has not gone down well,” said Mr. Bhagat on a local television broadcast.

    The gold stripes in Mr. Modi’s navy blue Indian jacket and pants were not simple stitching. They were Mr. Modi’s name. Over and over again, the lines repeated the name: Narendra Damodardas Modi. Mr. Modi’s middle name is his father’s first name.

    • 9:27 am
    • AAP Supporters Light Firecrackers to Celebrate

    From just a few dozen volunteers this morning to scores of supporters now, the scene outside the Aam Aadmi Party office has begun to resemble that of a crowded Indian festival. Loudspeakers blast revolutionary tunes in the background, while supporters light firecrackers to celebrate the party’s lead.

    Photo credit: Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal

    • 9:27 am
    • High-Income and Low-Income Voters Going AAP

    Rajdeep Sardesai, a journalist on the Headlines Today television news station, says the results coming in show that both high-income and low-income neighborhoods in Delhi have voted for the Aam Aadmi Party. Promising subsidies for the poor—such as reduced electrical bills, and increased water supplies in areas without running water—may have worked in favor of AAP, says Mr. Sardesai.

    “What we said, we can deliver over the next five years,” says Meera Sanyal, an AAP spokeswoman.

    In the 2013 assembly election, predominantly central and south Delhi voted for AAP—that is, mostly middle to upper-class neighborhoods.

    • 9:28 am
    • BJP Starts to Spin

    The BJP is starting to spin the results that show AAP in the lead.

    “This is a localized election,” said BJP Spokesman G.V. L. Narsimha Rao.

    “We have not been in power in Delhi for nearly 16 or 17 years, Delhi is not an easy ground for the BJP. Were this a national poll we would have swept it. This is a referendum on Kejriwal, people wanted to give him a chance.  They somehow have good memories of the 49 days [he was in power.]”

    • 9:31 am
    • Photo: Celebrations at Aam Aadmi Party Office

    Celebrations are in full swing at the Aam Aadmi Party office. According to the Election Commission, the party is leading in 41 of the Delhi’s 70 assembly constituencies.

    Photo credit: Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal

    • 9:35 am
    • Mamata Banerjee Applauds Kejriwal’s Victory

    West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted congratulations to Arvind Kejriwal as election results seem to indicate a clean sweep for the Aam Aadmi Party. Ms. Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress Party and other regional parties have thrown their weight behind AAP in recent weeks. Trinamool will face its own challenge from the BJP in 2016 when the state goes to the polls.

    • 9:35 am
    • AAP Now Leading In 49 Seats

    The Aam Aadmi Party is now leading in 49 seats of 70 in the Delhi assembly, according to data available on the website of NDTV. That’s a seat each for the 49 days of AAP’s last term in power. It suggests that Arvind Kejriwal’s apology for his previous 49-day-only government may have paid off.

    Photo credit: Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal

    • 9:37 am
    • Congress Spin

    Congress says there is no anger against the party.

    Congress is leading in just two of 70 seats, reducing the party to a complete non-entity. Randeep Singh Surjewala, a spokesman for the Congress, says the party’s “younger leadership needed a little time to find their feet.” But, Mr. Surjewala adds, “There is no anger against the Congress party per se.”

    • 9:38 am
    • ‘AAP Has Swept Delhi’

    “The weather has changed in Delhi. The broom has swept the lotus away,” an Aam Aadmi Party supporter announces, a reference to the rival BJP’s party symbol. The crowd goes wild.

    Party volunteers begin handing out brooms, the electoral symbol of the AAP, to excited supporters. “Come, let’s clean up the mess in Delhi,” a young supporter screams.

    • 9:39 am
    • Results Due At Noon

    The counting of votes for Delhi election should be over by 12 p.m. “We should know who will form the next Delhi government by early afternoon,” an official at India’s election commission said.

    At 9:25 a.m., Election Commission results showed the Aam Aadmi Party leading in races for 41 of Delhi’s 70 assembly seats. The Bharatiya Janata Party was leading in seven constituencies. The Congress party, which held power in Delhi for 15 years before losing elections in December 2013, was trailing everywhere.

    • 9:42 am
    • The AAP Wave

    Yogendra Yadav, a senior AAP leader and one of the party’s more professorial voices (perhaps because he is a professor), said Delhi has seen a wave in favor of his party. “The polls have turned out right, we underestimated,” he said, speaking on NDTV. “It’s a wave—it’s not just an underclass that voted for AAP, it’s the middle class as well. The [BJP]  juggernaut seems to have halted at least for the moment.”

    He criticized Mr. Modi for making the vote a “referendum on himself.” But Mr. Yadav cautioned that hype could be damaging for the party going forward. “The hype around AAP actually damaged us last time,” he said.

    • 9:43 am
    • 9:48 am
    • The Fate of Congress Hangs in Balance

    Questions are being asked on the television station CNN-IBN about the status of Congress as a national party as the party trails Aam Aadmi Party and the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Delhi election. The news station shows zero seats for Congress with the BJP leading in around 10 seats and AAP leading with more than 50 seats.

    “There is something called incumbency and that has affected us,” says Brijesh Kalappa, Congress party spokesman.

    • 9:50 am
    • Pankaj Pachauri Congratulates AAP

    Manmohan Singh’s former spokesman, Pankaj Pachauri, congratulated the Aam Aadmi Party for its looming victory in the Delhi elections. The former Congress-led government’s spokesman had nothing to say about dismal showing by the Congress in the election.

    • 9:52 am
    • 9:54 am
    • Biggest Swing for AAP in Badarpur?

    The Aam Aadmi Party had a poor showing in 2013 in south Delhi’s Badapur constituency, where it lost to the BJP by more than 20,000 votes. This year, Badarpur seems to be the constituency where AAP has managed to climb the ladder to the top in the most spectacular manner. Its candidate, Narayan Dutt Sharma, is leading by more than 21,000 votes.

    As counting continues, this seems to be the maximum margin the AAP has managed among the 55 constituencies where it is leading.

    • 9:56 am
    • “Bring Priyanka Back,” People Chant Outside Congress Office

    The Times Now television broadcast is reporting protests outside the Congress party’s office, including chants of “Bring Priyanka back.”  Priyanka Gandhi is the daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi and the late Rajiv Gandhi, prime minister from 1984 to 1989. Her great-grandfather was independence leader Jawaharlal Nehru, India’s first prime minister. Her grandmother, Indira Gandhi, served as prime minister for 15 years in two stints. But it is her brother, Rahul, who is the vice-president of the Congress party. “The only hope for the Congress party is Priyanka Gandhi,” says Arnab Goswami, a journalist on Times Now.

    • 10:01 am
    • AAP Is Hogging All the Seats

    The latest numbers suggest that AAP could win more than 80% of the seats of the Delhi Assembly. The NDTV tally at around 10:00 a.m. shows AAP leading on a whopping 59 out of the 70 seats. The BJP is a distant second, leading in 10 seats while Congress was ahead on no seats.

    • 10:10 am
    • Photo: The Broom Makes an Appearance
    Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal
    • 10:13 am
    • AAP Pie

    When Arvind Kejriwal first ran for office from the elite New Delhi constituency, he zoomed past Delhi’s three-time chief minister Sheila Dikshit by more than 25,800 votes. While counting is still in progress, Mr. Kejriwal’s lead doesn’t seem as impressive as last time, he’s heading the charts with about 3,500 votes more than his immediate competitor from the Bharatiya Janata Party. Nonetheless, his party is on a great run leading in 58 of the 70 assembly seats, according to the Election Commission.

    The official vote-share of individual parties, as it stands now.

    • 10:15 am
    • ‘I Will End Bribery’

    Arvind Kejriwal has given his first interview since results showed his party was leading in state polls.

    According to NDTV, Mr. Kejriwal said he was “the people’s chief minister.”

    “This is not my election it was the people’s election, I will show that the people are with me,” Mr. Kejriwal was quoted by the TV channel as saying.

    Asked about his priorities, Mr. Kejriwal was quoted as saying: “I will end bribery. I will end the culture of bribery. I will be everybody’s chief minister.”


    • 10:16 am
    • BJP Says It Didn’t Do As Expected

    Nalin Kohli, a spokesman for the Bharatiya Janata Party, said the party “certainly did not do as expected.”

    “We will concede defeat, just a matter of time,” Mr. Kohli said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. The final results are expected to be announced by noon. A defeat would be a major blow for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his BJP, which is in power at the national level and had campaigned energetically to win in the national capital.

    • 10:18 am
    • Modi Calls Kejriwal – Says Times of India
    • 10:22 am
    • Modi Tweets
    • 10:24 am
    • Drums and Dancing

    The Aam Aadmi Party has begun celebrating its lead in a quintessentially Indian way: by rolling out a dholak, or a traditional Indian drum. Housewives clad in saris and domestic workers holding brooms, AAP’s symbol, are among those dancing to the beats.

    Photo credit: Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal

    • 10:29 am
    • High-Profile Defector to BJP From AAP Says, Kejriwal Asked Her to Go

    Politician Shazia Ilmi, who moved officially to the Bharatiya Janata Party from the Aam Aadmi Party just weeks before the Delhi election, congratulated the AAP on the party’s lead as vote-counting continued. “We should accept the result with humility,” she said moments ago on the Times Now television station, where she was bombarded with questions from journalist Arnab Goswami. “We want to know whether you took the right decision to switch,” he asked her. Ms. Ilmi said that AAP party chief Arvind Kejriwal “asked me to leave the party.”

    • 10:34 am
    • The Latest Numbers
    Made with Datawrapper for The Wall Street Journal
    • 10:41 am
    • Kiran Bedi Congratulates Kejriwal

    BJP chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi tweeted her congratulations to former colleague and Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal. “Now take Delhi to the heights it belongs to,” she tweeted.

    At 10:36 a.m. Ms. Bedi was trailing in her constituency Krishna Nagar.

    • 10:42 am
    • Photo: ‘First They Ignore You, Then They Laugh at You, Then They Fight You, Then You Win’
    Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal
    • 10:46 am
    • Doctor Explains Why He Backs AAP

    Ajit Jain, a cardiosurgeon, is helping manage the swelling crowd outside the Aam Aadmi Party office. He says he was motivated to lend a helping hand after AAP leader, Arvind Kejriwal, dived into politics. “He was a tax officer, leading a comfortable life. There was no need to get his hands dirty. He still did,” Dr. Jain says, his stethoscope flung around his neck. “He is one of us. If we professionals don’t come out and support him, it’s a real shame.”

    • 10:49 am
    • Yogendra Yadav: Not an AAP Win, But a Win For the “Common Man”

    “This is not a victory for the Aam Aadmi Party,” Yogendra Yadav, a senior AAP leader, says outside the party office. “It is a victory for the aam aadmi,” or common man. The crowd roars. “Hail India,” they chant in unison.

    • 10:56 am
    • Chetan Bhagat Apologizes to AAP

    Best-selling author Chetan Bhagat apologized on Twitter for mocking the Aam Aadmi Party in the past. Mr. Bhagat is particularly popular among India’s young people, who voted for AAP in droves.

    Mr. Bhagat instead turned his sharp tongue toward the BJP, noting that the party’s contingent in the Delhi state legislature looks to be so small, it could travel together in a single minivan.

    • 10:59 am
    • 3…2…1?

    Of the 70 seats in Delhi’s state assembly, the BJP is now leading in only three, according to latest numbers from the Election Commission — and the Aam Aadmi party is looking to win in 66. The Congress party appears nowhere in the tally.

    In this picture, AAP supporters celebrate the stellar lead in 66 seats.

    Photo credit: Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal


    • 11:06 am
    • What Is a Juggernaut?

    Yogendra Yadav, spokesman for the Aam Aadmi Party who specializes in psephology, the study and analysis of elections, said his party had was set to halt the Bharatiya Janata Party’s “juggernaut.”

    Juggernaut is a word with origins in Indian history. The mid 19th-century term describes a large or heavy vehicle, or something with overwhelming force.

    It comes from the giant wheels of chariots carrying the Hindu deity Krishna that are annually rolled during a procession from the Jagannath temple in the state of Orissa.

    • 11:09 am
    • Chetan Bhagat Issues Correction

    The BJP is leading in three seats, meaning that the MLAs could share an auto-rickshaw to work.

    • 11:09 am
    • BJP Could Lose the “Leader of Opposition” Status

    The Bharatiya Janata Party looks set to lose so badly in the election, it might not qualify for the right to name the official opposition leader in Delhi’s state assembly.

    The BJP’s drubbing in the election appears to be leaving it with fewer than 10% of the 70 seats in the state legislative assembly. So, even though it would be the second-largest party in Delhi’s state assembly, behind the Aam Aadmi Party, its share of seats would be too small to qualify as official opposition leader.

    “The general rule is to get 10% of the seats in the state assembly, or a minimum of 10 seats,” constitutional expert Subhash C. Kashyap said. At 10:55 a.m., the BJP was leading in three seats in Delhi’s 70-seat state assembly. The AAP was leading in 66 seats, according to Election Commission of India website.


    • 11:14 am
    • DLF Welcomes Kejriwal’s Victory

    Rajeev Talwar, managing director of India’s largest property company, DLF Ltd., welcomed Arvind Kejriwal’s victory in Delhi.

    “It’s a change in the nation, a new generation is coming in,” he said.

    Mr. Talwar said that any result in a democratic election is worth applauding, “as long as we also develop the economy.”

    Property and power shares have been sliding this week on concerns about AAP’s win. Investors and analysts are worried that Delhi’s new ruling party’s suspicion of big, profitable companies could lead to restrictions on how property and power companies do business in the capital. The shares of DLF had fallen as much as 2% Tuesday morning.

    • 11:20 am
    • ‘Victory of Honesty’

    Manish Sisodia, a member of the Aam Aadmi Party who is contesting the Delhi state election says “it is a victory for honesty” as latest numbers suggest that AAP could win more than 90% of the seats.

    Mr. Sisodia, who is contesting from the Patparganj constituency, is leading by 10,000 votes, according to the Election Commission of India.

    AAP party chief Arvind Kejriwal in his first interview since results showed his party was leading vowed to “end the culture of bribery,” according to the Indian channel NDTV.

    • 11:22 am
    • The BJP Car Wisecracks Accelerate On Twitter

    With just three candidates leading in the Delhi assembly race, the BJP is “now a ‘Nano’ party with enough room for a chauffeur,” one joker quips–a reference to that most un-BJP of rides, the diminutive Tata Nano.

    • 11:31 am
    • Paanch Saal

    The stretch leading up to the Aam Aadmi Party’s headquarters is now flooded with a sea of supporters.  Doctors, teachers, day-laborers and domestic workers are among those shouting slogans praising party leader, Arvind Kejriwal.

    “Paanch saal Kejriwal. Paanch saal Kejriwal,” the crowd chants, which, in English, loosely translates to “Kejriwal for five years.” Five years is the tenure of a chief minister in Delhi.

    Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal


    • 11:35 am
    • In Political Debut, the Daughter of India’s President Is Losing

    The daughter of India’s President Pranab Mukherjee, Sharmishtha Mukherjee, ran her debut election this year from south Delhi’s Greater Kailash constituency. She represented the Indian National Congress, which might help you guess how she has fared.  According to the most recent numbers from the Election Commission, Ms. Mukherjee is way behind both the AAP and BJP candidates. Last year, the seat went to AAP’s Saurabh Bharadwaj, who is currently leading with more than 42,000 votes.

    • 11:36 am
    • Hazare: This Is “A Defeat for Modi”

    Indian activist Anna Hazare described the Delhi election results as “a defeat for Narendra Modi.” He congratulated Arvind Kejriwal on his party’s victory in the assembly election and said Mr. Kejriwal “must not forget the anti-corruption campaign and should work for public benefit.”

    He said the BJP made promises to tackle corruption but “didn’t fulfill them.” “People believe Arvind will fight for them,” he said on CNN-IBN television news channel Tuesday.

    Mr. Hazare shot to public attention and became an icon for India’s middle classes when he went on a hunger strike in 2011 to demand tough anti-corruption laws and in particular a law to create an ombudsman to deal with allegations of corruption. He advised Mr. Kejriwal to remain simple. “The more you remain simple, the more people will have faith in you,” Mr. Hazare said.

    • 11:38 am
    • Man with @bjp Twitter Handle Wakes Up to Bombardment of Tweets. Again.

    John P. Brennan whose Twitter handle is @BJP said he was getting “blown up” with mentions on the micro blogging site on Tuesday.

    “It’s that time of the year again: Elections in India. I am getting blown UP with mentions.#BJP”

    The official Twitter handle for the Bharatiya Janata Party is @BJP4India

    One assumes he was bombarded by tweets when the BJP led by Indian Prime Minister swept the national election in May. The party is set to take a drubbing in the Delhi election, with a lead in only three seats.


    • 11:40 am
    • 11:46 am
    • Kejriwal Appears

    AAP Chief Arvind Kejriwal has just made an appearance outside the party headquarters.

    “When you walk on the path of truth, the whole universe gets together to make good things happen,” Mr. Kejriwal says. The crowd cheers.

    • 11:46 am
    • AAP Mentions Ambani — Again

    An Aam Aadmi Party-composed song, playing in loop outside the party headquarters, sings about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s relationship with India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani. “Do you want a leader that sells the country to the Ambanis?” the song asks in Hindi, “or do you want an honest Kejriwal?”

    Aam Aadmi Party Chief Arvind Kejriwal has criticized Mr. Ambani in the past as well. Mr. Ambani’s company, Reliance Industries, has previously denied any wrongdoing on its part or its chairman’s.

    • 11:50 am
    • 12:01 pm
    • Arvind Kejriwal Speaks to Supporters

    Amid a shower of flower petals and loud booms, presumably from celebratory crackers or dodgy sound system, Arvind Kejriwal speaks to supporters cheering him on as counting continues for the Delhi state election and shows the party leading in 90% of the seats.

    “Delhi has given us such an overwhelming majority,” he says in Hindi using the word ‘bahumat’ which is used interchangeably to describe mandate and majority.

    “I alone cannot do anything. I am a very small man,” he says adding that he is “hopeful” that the people of Delhi will help him make the state “a place where the rich and poor peacefully co-exist.”

    Mr. Kejriwal thanks his father and introduces his wife who folds her hands as a gesture of thanks to the crowd. Mr. Kejriwal says: “I could not have done it without her.”

    He takes a dig at the competing BJP and the Congress party. Both parties are trailing AAP by massive margins.

    “Today, the BJP and Congress lost out because of their ego,” Mr. Kejriwal adds.

    • 12:09 pm
    • BJP Will Be in Opposition

    Even if the BJP can’t win the minimum seven seats needed to qualify as the official opposition leader in the Delhi state assembly, the Aam Aadmi Party will let the BJP hold the post, tweeted Kumar Vishwas, a senior AAP figure.


    It’s not the first time this kind of issue has arisen in Indian politics in the past year or so. Last year, when the BJP trounced the Congress party in national elections, the BJP resisted Congress’s claim to be the official opposition leader in Parliament. In that race, Congress failed to win the minimum number of seats needed to qualify.

    • 12:13 pm
    • The AAP’s First Two Official Victories

    The Election Commission just flashed the Aam Aadmi Party’s first two official wins: in Adarsh Nagar, in Delhi’s north west and Ambedkar Nagar in the city’s south. AAP’s Pawan Kumar Sharma and Ajay Dutt have won the two seats. Both Mr. Sharma and Mr. Dutt were party volunteers before they were nominated to contest elections this year.

    • 12:22 pm
    • India’s Aspirational Class Has Spoken

    A landslide victory by the Aam Aadmi Party is a very serious reminder to the major political parties, policy makers and even India Inc. that a new aspirational class lies at the bottom of pyramid and not the conventional middle class, says Rana Kapoor, founder of Yes Bank Ltd. (532648.BY) and the president of industry lobby group ASSOCHAM. “This aspirational class are the backbone of the Indian economy but somehow has felt left out of the mainstream,” says Mr. Kapoor. They are now asserting themselves and they have no patience, he says.

    • 12:24 pm
    • Rahul Gandhi Congratulates Arvind Kejriwal

    As Congress heads for another electoral drubbing, the party issued a statement on Rahul Gandhi’s behalf. “The people of Delhi have chosen the Aam Aadmi Party and we respect that,” said Mr. Gandhi, according to the statement. Mr. Gandhi has faced criticism for his failure to be a more public face for the party.


    • 12:34 pm
    • 12:35 pm
    • Reliance Stock Falls on AAP Win

    Reliance Industries Ltd. is trading down 0.5% at 893.05 rupees. The stock started falling from 899.75 rupees at 12.09 India time, exchange data showed, just after it was clear that the anti-corruption-agenda driven Aam Aadmi Party was winning in Delhi state assembly elections.

    The stock has been roughly volatile in pre-noon trade. The party’s leader Arvind Kejriwal has targeted Mukesh Ambani, founder of Reliance Industries. The company has previously denied wrongdoing on its part or its chairman’s and on Tuesday declined to comment on AAP’s victory.

    • 12:39 pm
    • Exit Polls Right But Wrong

    Most of the exit polls that came out after voting ended on Saturday, correctly caught the swing of voters towards the Aam Aadmi Party but none predicted the magnitude of the popularity of the party’s candidates. Exit polls that came out over the weekendpredicted that AAP would win, with a comfortable majority with somewhere around 40 of the 70 seats of the Delhi assembly. Instead it looks like the common man’s party could win 65 seats.

    • 12:40 pm
    • Mahindra: AAP Win “Bodes Well” for Doing Business

    As the Bombay Stock Exchange rebounds, Anand Mahindra said AAP’s message isn’t anti-business. Mr. Mahindra is chairman of the Mahindra Group conglomerate.

    A government “promising clean governance bodes well for ease of doing business in the territory. Hence market rebounding makes sense,” he tweeted.

    • 12:40 pm
    • BJP Accepts Defeat, “Will Introspect”

    The Bharatiya Janata Party accepted defeat as the vote-count trends showed the Aam Aadmi Party headed toward a landslide victory. “The results indicate that we failed to convey our message of development to the people of Delhi,” BJP national spokesman Praveen Shankar Kapoor told The Wall Street Journal. “We accept defeat and will introspect the reasons behind it,” he said.

    • 12:53 pm
    • AAP Fans: Kejriwal Has “Prime Minister Potential”

    A market next to the Aam Aadmi Party headquarters is abuzz with news of the party’s electoral win.

    Shatrugan Rai, a 49-year-old driver who migrated from the state of Bihar decades ago, says Kejriwal is one of the few leaders who delivered on his party promises. “All other parties coerce us poor people into voting for them. They make false promises to us desperate people.”

    In the 49 days that Mr. Kejriwal was chief minister in 2013, his party halved electricity charges and significantly bought down water prices. “He actually did what he said,” Mr. Rai says. “If he keeps at it, he can become prime minister one day.”

    Arti Verma, a 19-year-old student standing nearby, agrees. “He certainly has prime minister potential,” she says.

    • 1:03 pm
    • Auto Drivers Call on Kejriwal

    Delhi’s auto rickshaw and taxi drivers are a sizeable voting bloc. This time, they backed Congress.

    “We had asked our members to vote for the Congress party this time because AAP didn’t fulfill the promises they made in the last election when we had wholeheartedly supported them and they won,” said Kishan Verma, president of Federation of All Delhi Auto Taxi Transporters Congress, which has about 45,000 members.

    Mr. Verma said the union has already congratulated Mr. Kejriwal and is hoping that the new chief minister will implement measures such as installing CCTV cameras in various parts of the city, proper parking stands for auto rickshaws and taxis and better education of children from lower-income homes.

    • 1:07 pm
    • Kiran Bedi Admits Defeat

    “I’m a defeated candidate today,” says Kiran Bedi, who was the BJP’s choice for chief minister in the city.

    Ms. Bedi conceded defeat in the Krishna Nagar constituency where she was parachuted in just three weeks ago.


    • 1:13 pm
    • What’s AAP Going to Do?

    Now they’ve won, what can we expect the Aam Aadmi Party to do when they take power?

    We read the AAP manifesto so you don’t have to.

    The party says it wants to cut electricity prices in half, provide clean water at an affordable price, introduce self-rule at the hyper-local level and improve safety for women.

    It will also create a 10,000-strong women’s security force made up of people currently working as cooks, cleaners and drivers for government officials, according to its manifesto.

    More on what to expect from the AAP government here.



    • 1:35 pm
    • Mrs. Kejriwal

    Arvind Kejriwal thanked his wife, Sunita after his victory was announced and retweeted a picture of the couple embracing after the Aam Aadmi Party’s landslide  in Delhi.

    • 1:35 pm
    • ‘We Want Priyanka’
    Sajjad Hussain/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
    Men held pictures of Priyanka Gandhi as they shouted slogans outside the Congress party’s office in New Delhi on Feb. 10 demanding Priyanka replace Congress party vice-president Rahul Gandhi
    • 1:36 pm
    • Bare at the BJP
    Altaf Qadri/Associated Press
    A man walked past empty seats in front of a stage set up for a press conference at the headquarters of the country’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in New Delhi on Tuesday.
    • 1:38 pm
    • ‘I Am Aam Aadmi’
    Getty Images News
    A man sported Aam Aadmi Party leader Arvind Kejriwal stickers on his face as he watched the results of Delhi Assembly Elections at the party’s Patel Nagar office on Feb. 10.
    • 1:41 pm
    • Photo: AAP Cheer
    Junho Kim for The Wall Street Journal
    • 1:51 pm
    • Valentine’s Day Reunion
    Reuters/Adnan Abidi
    Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal addresses his supporters in New Delhi on Feb. 10

    You could say Arvind Kejriwal broke up with Delhi on Valentine’s Day in 2014 when he stepped down as chief minister 49 days into his five-year term.  But voters have given him another chance and this year, also on Valentine’s day that falls on Saturday, Mr. Kejriwal will reaffirm his allegiance to the city when he is sworn in as chief minister once again.

    Mr. Kejriwal will take oath at Ramlila Maidan, an open air meeting ground, according to the Press Trust of India. The venue is the same as his last swearing-in ceremony.

    • 2:33 pm
    • Aam Aadmi Party’s Anthem

    The song that defined the Aam Aadmi Party’s 2015 Delhi state election campaign can be heard blaring from speakers at the party’s headquarters where hundreds have gathered to celebrate on Tuesday.

    Supporters can be seen waving the Indian flag, posters, banners and brooms – the party’s symbol. They are also holding up giant cut-outs of the face of AAP party leader Arvind Kejriwal.

    The song called “Five Years Kejriwal” or “Paanch Saal Kejriwal” was composed by Bollywood music producer Vishal Dadlani. From the ring tone for AAP’s phone lines to blaring from loudspeakers in the congested lanes of Delhi’s old quarters, the song seemed to be everywhere during the election campaign.

    Listen to the song here.

    Mr. Dadlani, the song’s composer said in a tweet he was boarding a flight from Mumbai to Delhi to join celebrations after it become clear that AAP was set to win the state polls by a landslide.



    • 3:26 pm
    • Indian Shares Recover

    Indian shares recovered from early losses as investors have already factored in the win of Aam Aadmi Party in the Delhi state elections.

    The benchmark S&P BSE Sensex is now trading up 0.6% at 28,395.75 after falling as much as 0.6% in early morning trade.

    “The AAP impact is gradually fading out and investors are shifting their focus back to reforms process and the Budget session,” said Neeraj Dewan, director at Quantum Securities.

    The Sensex index had lost 5% in the past one week after exit polls showed Bharatiya Janata party will likely lose the Delhi election.

    However, some of the stocks related to billionaire Ambani brothers were still trading lower as AAP’s leader Arvind Kejriwal had targeted them previously. Reliance Industries Ltd. was down 1.5%, while Reliance Infrastructure Ltd. fell 0.2%.

    • 5:01 pm
    • Planet AAP

    Delhi has witnessed the birth of planet AAP today. The party, at 4.55 p.m. had won 66 seats and was leading in the one remaining seat. BJP won in three seats.

    Delhi’s assembly has 70 seats.

    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. To see just how it has expanded click here.

    • 5:07 pm
    • AAP’s a Wrap
    Junho Kim/The Wall Street Journal
    In pictures, AAP celebrates victory in Delhi on Feb. 10, 2015.

    That’s it folks. A momentous day for Delhi and Indian politics that saw the Aam Aadmi Party overtake the capital’s assembly with a resounding result that has left political pundits all out of adjectives to describe its significance.

United States Can Be India’s Best Partner: Barack Obama

New Delhi:  Recalling the historic address of Swami Vivekananda, US President Barack Obama on Tuesday won over his audience by referring to them as “sisters and brothers of India” and said he firmly believes America can be India’s “best partner” and together the two nations can bring more prosperity to their people.

In his final engagement in India, before flying to Riyadh and then home, the US president addressed a town hall-style meeting in Siri Fort auditorium, where he said: “India and the US are not just natural partners, I believe that America can be India’s best partner, I believe that.”

Addressing an invited gathering of young people, civil society and diplomats, the US president reached out to the audience with many Hindi words like “Namastey”, “Dhanyavad” and even some references to Bollywood films, which had the crowd ecstatic.

He said he was “absolutely convinced” that when both the democracies stand together they can produce more jobs, opportunities and prosperity for their people. “I believe that,” he said.

Recalling the historic address of Swami Vivekananda, President Obama began his town hall meeting with the invocation “sisters and brothers of India” and talked about how the philosopher-sage introduced Hinduism and yoga to America in a city that was his hometown.

He recalled Swami Vivekananda and his famous speech in Chicago, exactly 100 years ago, where he addressed the gathering as “sisters and brothers of America” and said he was going to address the audience likewise.

President Obama struck a personal chord with the mainly youthful crowd, saying he was very impressed with the daredevilry of the motorcycle contingent riding Royal Enfield bikes and wished he could ride a bike too.

“But the Secret Service does not let me ride motor cycles,” he said, and also remarked that he cannot dance as well as his wife Michelle.

In a speech where he touched on the need for India and the US to work together on climate change, on how the US can partner India in its growth story, in defence cooperation and becoming partners in the security of the Asia-Pacific region, the American president also stressed on the need for the government to uphold the freedom of religion written in the constitution of both the countries.

On Tuesday, the Election Commission was responding to fresh complaints by the BJP and Congress, which had demanded the cancellation of Mr Kejriwal’s nomination. Earlier, the two parties had complained to the Commission, saying Mr Kejriwal was violating the Model Code of Conduct.

The Election Commission took note of an undertaking by Mr Kejriwal that he respects the poll body and the law, and would stop making such appeals to voters if the Commission found his statements inappropriate.

Pulled up by Election Commission, Arvind Kejriwal Stays Away From Controversial Remarks

New Delhi:  After a stern warning from the Election Commission on Tuesday, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal refrained from making controversial comments at his election rallies.

The Commission had directed Mr Kejriwal to “desist from making these utterances in all forms of election campaign… from today 7 PM onwards”. Any further violation of its orders would invite “stern action”, the EC said.

Prior to the warning, at two rallies held on Tuesday morning — at Babarpur and Shahdara — Mr Kejriwal had apparently justified his earlier remarks

“What is bribery? It is taking money and then voting. However, I am forbidding voters to do so. I say, ‘take money from them but don’t vote for them. Rather give vote to us’,” news agency Press Trust of India quoted him as saying.

Mr Kejriwal had also apparently repeated remarks that had invited the ire of the BJP and the Congress.

“It’s election time. When people both from BJP and Congress come offering money, don’t refuse, accept. Some have looted money from 2G, some have looted money from coal scam. Take money from both the parties but vote for AAP,” PTI quoted him as saying.

Obama Ends Visit With Challenge to India on Climate Change

New Delhi:  President Obama pressed India on Tuesday to do more to curb the pollution that is choking its capital and contributing to global climate change, as he wrapped up a visit that yielded no meaningful breakthrough on the issue.

While India and the United States agreed to cooperate in promoting cleaner energy, Mr. Obama left after three days without the sort of specific commitment to curbing greenhouse gases that he won in China last year. Instead, he used a farewell speech before his departure to argue that India had an obligation to step up, despite its economic challenges.

“I know the argument made by some – that it’s unfair for countries like the United States to ask developing nations and emerging economies like India to reduce your dependence on the same fossil fuels that helped power our growth for more than a century,” Mr. Obama told an audience of 1,500 mostly young Indians at Siri Fort Auditorium on the final day of his trip here.

“But here’s the truth,” he added. “Even if countries like the United States curb our emissions, if countries that are growing rapidly like India with soaring energy needs don’t also embrace cleaner fuels, then we don’t stand a chance against climate change.”

The president’s remarks came during a speech with a broader tough-love message, lavishing praise on India and pledging friendship while challenging it to cut back on human rights abuses. He urged India to protect the rights of girls and women, combat human trafficking and slavery, promote religious and racial tolerance, and empower young people.

President Obama wins India’s heart, signals to China India is with US, Modi wins Obama, Signals as a Global Leader!

President Obama wins India’s heart, signals to China India is with US, Modi wins Obama, Signals as a Global Leader!

NEW DELHI—U.S. President Barack Obama was set to join Indian leaders at a parade here Monday as the world’s second-most-populous nation shows off its military modernization efforts and cultural diversity.Mr. Obama’s attendance is meant to be an important display of solidarity between the world’s two largest democracies in the face of an increasingly assertive, well-armed and authoritarian China that is shifting the balance of power in Asia.The U.S. president’s three-day visit to India during the country’s symbolically important Republic Day celebrations marks a significant deepening in relations between the two countries amid mounting geopolitical tensions globally.

Obama Visit to India Marked by Woman Power
On Sunday, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that Mr. Obama’s visit “reflects the transformation of our relationship,” and said New Delhi and Washington “are prepared to step forward firmly to accept the responsibility of this global partnership—for our two countries and for the shaping the character of this century.”

This is the first time India—which spent much of the Cold War espousing nonalignment and nurturing ties with Russia as the U.S. cultivated New Delhi’s rivals, Pakistan and China—has invited an American head of state for the event.Mr. Obama’s acceptance is a sign of renewed U.S. hope that India, under the leadership of a new government elected last year, will be able to achieve the sustained economic development that has long eluded it but is critical if the country is ever to become an effective strategic counterweight to China.After a summit meeting between Messrs. Obama and Modi on Sunday, the two leaders said they would deepen defense cooperation, increasing joint exercises between the two countries’ armies and navies. They also agreed to work to jointly develop and produce defense technologies.U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said the countries would form working groups to explore aircraft-carrier technology sharing as well as work on jet engines.India has been working to upgrade its defense equipment, which for years was mostly supplied first by the Soviet Union and then Russia. Over the past three budget years, however, India has purchased more weapons from the U.S. than from Moscow.Monday’s parade was to feature flybys by a Boeing Co. -made P-8I antisubmarine-warfare plane and a Lockheed Martin C-130J transport, which India has made a point of landing at a high-altitude airstrip to demonstrate its ability to rush troops and equipment to the country’s Himalayan border with China.Among the other military hardware expected to be on display: Russian warplanes and homegrown missiles that are being deployed in northeastern India.India, while trying to deepen commercial ties with China to fuel its own economy, is deeply distrustful of Beijing, with which it has competing territorial claims. New Delhi also resents China’s rising aid-driven influence among its South Asian neighbors and Beijing’s greater naval presence in the Indian Ocean.

It is a great pleasure and privilege to welcome back President Obama and the First Lady in India.

Mr. President, we are honored that you accepted our invitation to be the Chief Guest for our Republic Day, despite a busy January.It is special because on this day we celebrate the values shared by the world’s two largest democracies.You are also the first United States President to visit India twice in Office.It reflects the transformation in our relationship. It shows your deep personal commitment to this partnership.It tells us that our two nations are prepared to step forward firmly to accept the responsibility of this global partnership – for our two countries and for shaping the character of this century.The promise and potential of this relationship has never been in doubt. This is a natural global partnership. It has become even more relevant in the digital age. It is needed even more in our world of far-reaching changes and widespread turmoil.The success of this partnership is important for our progress and for advancing peace, stability and prosperity around the world.From the turn of this century, we have begun transforming our relationship.But, we have to convert a good start into lasting progress. This requires translating our vision into sustained action and concrete achievements.

Mr. President, in the last few months, I see new excitement and confidence in this relationship. I see renewed energy in our engagement. I thank you for your leadership and for setting the tone last September.The civil nuclear agreement was the centrepiece of our transformed relationship, which demonstrated new trust. It also created new economic opportunities and expanded our option for clean energy. In the course of the past four months, we have worked with a sense of purpose to move it forward. I am pleased that six years after we signed our bilateral agreement, we are moving towards commercial cooperation, consistent with our law, our international legal obligations, and technical and commercial viability.President Obama has also assured me of strong U.S. efforts in support of India’s full membership of the four international export control regimes at the earliest.Today, we have also decided to take our growing defence cooperation to a new level. We have agreed, in principle, to pursue co-development and co-production of specific advanced defence projects. These will help upgrade our domestic defence industry; and expand the manufacturing sector in India.We will also explore cooperation in other areas of advanced defence technologies.We have renewed our Defence Framework Agreement. We will deepen our cooperation on maritime security.Terrorism remains a principal global threat. It is taking on a new character, even as existing challenges persist. We agreed that we need a comprehensive global strategy and approach to combat with it. There should be no distinction between terrorist groups. Every country must fulfil its commitments to eliminate terrorist safe havens and bring terrorists to justice.Our two countries will deepen our bilateral security cooperation against terrorist groups. And, we will further enhance our counter-terrorism capabilities, including in the area of technology.President Obama and I agree that a strong and growing economic relationship is vital for the success of our strategic partnership. Economic growth in our two countries is becoming stronger. Our business climate is improving. This gives me great optimism about our economic ties.In addition, we have established a number of effective bilateral mechanisms to identify opportunities and also help our businesses trade and invest more.We will also resume our dialogue on Bilateral Investment Treaty. We will also restart discussions on a Social Security Agreement that is so important for the hundreds of thousands of Indian professionals working in the United States.For President Obama and me, clean and renewable energy is a personal and national priority. We discussed our ambitious national efforts and goals to increase the use of clean and renewable energy. We also agreed to further enhance our excellent and innovative partnership in this area. I asked him to lead international efforts in making renewable energy more accessible and affordable to the world. President and I expressed hope for a successful Paris Conference on climate change this year.We will continue to deepen our collaboration in science, technology, innovation, agriculture, health, education and skills. These are central to the future of our two countries; and also give us an opportunity to help others around the world.Indeed, our strategic partnership will only be complete if we assume our responsibility to work together to promote development and connectivity in our vast region. President Obama and I agreed to pursue this goal with a sense of priority.President and I had an excellent discussion on global and regional issues. In particular, we renewed our commitment to deepen our cooperation to advance peace, stability, prosperity in Asia, Pacific and Indian Ocean Region, which is critical for the future of our two countries and the destiny of this world.Our relationship stands at a new level today. We have outlined a broad vision for our friendship and cooperation that reflects the opportunities and challenges of this century. As Lord Buddha said, noble friends and companions are the whole of the holy life.We have decided to give this critical partnership a new thrust and sustained attention. For this, we have agreed that India and the United States must have regular summits at greater frequency. And, we will also establish hotlines between us and our National Security Advisors.At the beginning of this year, we start a new journey.Let me welcome you once again, Mr. President. It is a great pleasure to have you with us.