Obama, Modi ‘bhaichaara’: US silent after Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP thrashes BJP in Delhi

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Washington | February 11, 2015 4:33 PM

Declining to comment on the AAP's (Aam Aadmi Party) stunning victory over Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in...

Live Delhi election results 2015, AAP, Aam Aadmi Party, Arvind KejriwalAam Aadmi Party leaders Arvind Kejriwal and Ashutosh hug as they celebrate news of their party’s performance in New Delhi. (AP)

Declining to comment on the AAP’s (Aam Aadmi Party) stunning victory over Narendra Modi-led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Delhi Assembly elections, the US has said that its relationship with India is growing especially after the recent visit of President Barack Obama.

“That (Delhi election) is an internal matter for the people and the Government of India,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters when asked about the Delhi Assembly election results in which AAP led by Arvind Kejriwal won 67 of the 70 seats.

“As it relates to our relationship or partnership or the President’s visit we certainly see our relationship with India as one that is growing, that has great potential, and that is reflected by the fact that the Secretary (of State John Kerry) and the President of the United States both visited India within the first month of this year,” Psaki said.

“So that speaks for itself, but I don’t have any particular comment or analysis on the election results,” she said.

“We don’t engage in endorsing individual political candidates, so I would refer you to the Government of India and the people of India,” Psaki said when asked about the victory of Kejriwal on an anti-corruption platform.

Meanwhile, political experts feel the result shows the anti-corruption movement is unlikely to die soon and it also raises the performance bar for the BJP at the Center.

“This was a landslide victory for the Aam Aadmi Party, which is proving that the anti-corruption movement will not die anytime soon,” said Brian Min, assistant professor of political science at Michigan University.

“If there is a silver lining for Modi, it is that voters continue to express an abiding concern for everyday development issues, like electricity and government efficiency, that are closely aligned with Modi’s development agenda. This is a stunning and embarrassing defeat for Congress,” Min said.

Puneet Manchanda, a professor of marketing at the Ross School of Business at the Michigan University, said that AAP’s victory raises the bar for the BJP in terms of performance.

Leela Fernandes, professor of women’s studies and political science at the same university, said the AAP victory is a very significant electoral event because of the margin of victory.

“The AAP victory does reveal the potential for grassroots mobilisation activity to build a secular cross-class electoral alternative to the BJP-Congress power structure and that in itself is an important development,” Fernandes said.

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