Pall of gloom descends over CM's home after Punjab, Goa results
Amid high hopes of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) winning in Punjab and Goa assembly polls, Saturday, when the result was to be out, was supposed to be a day celebrations for the party but as the results belied the party's expectations, gloom enveloped Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal's residence.
The Chief Minister who was away from Delhi for weeks to campaign mostly in Punjab and Goa, the party was preparing for victories in both the states. To watch the victorious moment on television since the beginning, the CM and his wife had reportedly skipped their daily morning walks and stayed home.
The area outside his home was decorated with hundreds of saffron, white and green balloons but the it began and ended very differently than what they had anticipated. A LED screen showed leads as they came in. Bollywood music composer AR Rahman's popular hit anthem Jai Ho blared from loud speakers.
As late as last week, AAP leader and Punjab's election strategist Sanjay Singh boasted that the party would not win less than 100 of the 117 seats, wiping out both the Congress and the ruling Akali Dal-BJP combine. When the votes were counted on Saturday, the reverse happened. The Akali-BJP did lose but the Congress stormed back to power with a thumping majority. The AAP was left with just 23 seats or so.
AAP activists, stunned into silence, slowly began dispersing from outside the residence, taking away the brooms, the party symbol, they had brought along.
Shock and disappointment was writ large on everyone's face. Many refused to speak to journalists. Slowly, arrangements made for the announcement of the election results from Punjab and Goa were removed. In Goa, the AAP fared much worse, not winning even a single seat.
Later, the large TV screen placed outside Kejriwal's residence displaying the live trends and results was switched off as the day progressed. AAP workers also removed the tricolour balloons used to decorate the street leading to Kejriwal's residence. An audio system, playing songs since the morning about the AAP and its election symbol broom, was switched off.