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Delhi poll results a big relief: Yogendra Yadav (IANS Special)

New Delhi, Feb 12 (IANS) Swaraj Party leader Yogendra Yadav, who was once an integral part of the Aam Aadmi Party, has said that the results of Delhi Assembly election are a big relief, but does not show the road ahead on the political landscape of India.

In a conversation with IANS, Yadav said he feels the results are a relief as the BJP could not rise to power on the basis of its communal agenda, adding “it would have been vey bad if BJP had won”.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) stormed back to power by winning 62 out of 70 seats in Delhi.

Yadav said the election results have halted the “wheels of Bharatiya Janata Party’s communal juggernaut”. The saffron party, that was locked in a high decibel pre-electoral campaign battle with the AAP, could not even manage to get double-digit seats but improved its tally to eight, compared to three it bagged in 2015 polls.

Yadav was one of the prominent figures to feature in the Anna Hazare-led anti-corruption movement of which AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal was also one of the leading faces.

The AAP was, in fact, a political off-shoot of Hazare-led anti-graft campaign.

After the formation of AAP, Yadav played an important role in mobilising support for the party. However, due to differences with Kejriwal, he later snapped ties and went on to form his own party.

Yadav told IANS after the announcement of election results on Tuesday, that the mandate should make BJP understand that the people have discarded its communal agenda, and the party should focus more on the upliftment of the poor.

“Don’t stick to Shaheen Bagh issue and try to mislead the people. The AAP and the people of Delhi deserve to be congratulated for this by cleaning up the communal mind of the BJP,” Yadav said.

On a question if election strategist Prashant Kishor led the AAP to a landslide victory in this election, Yadav said: “I don’t think so. In fact, the government treasury was ‘looted’ by Arvind Kejriwal in the garb of free electricity, free water and free bus ride for women. AAP is going to form the government for the third time on the basis of freebies it promised to the people.”

He, however, also said that Kishor has played his part by convincing Kejriwal not to answer any question of the BJP or the Congress directly.

“Kejriwal’s silence on Kishor’s advice left the BJP and the Congress clueless,” he said.

Kejriwal’s strategy in Delhi has been similar to that of Narendra Modi’s in Gujarat, Naveen Patnaik’s in Odisha, Nitish Kumar’s in Bihar… first use the public fund to give freebies and then get votes in return, Yadav said.

Prashant Kishor’s contribution is limited to the extent that he was able to convince Kejriwal not to react to personal attacks by the BJP or the Congress. Arvind Kejriwal’s ‘silence’ and Prashant Kishor’s ‘advice’ helped AAP build perception in its favour.

“It won’t be correct to view this victory of AAP as a positive change. AAP was successful in creating a perception in its favour leaving aside the real issues. One day this will come to haunt the AAP as all the people cannot be fooled all the time,” Yadav said.

(Sanjeev Kumar Singh Chauhan can be contacted at [email protected])

–IANS

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