New Delhi (PTI): Opposition leaders on Tuesday hailed the Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party's(AAP) landslide win in the Delhi assembly polls as a defeat of the politics of polarisation and hate and a victory of inclusive politics, and said "winds of change" are blowing in the country.
With Kejriwal set to become the chief minister of Delhi for the third straight term, leaders of non-BJP parties cutting across party lines said the poll outcome showed that elections can be fought and won on the development plank. There was also a call for all regional parties to come together to keep the BJP out of power.
Key BJP ally and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar side-stepped queries on the drubbing received by his party JD(U), the BJP and the LJP but made a terse comment "Janta malik hai" (will of the people is supreme).
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who was among the first leaders to congratulate Kejrwial, said the Delhi polls have proven that only development will work.
"I have congratulated Arvind Kejriwal. People have rejected BJP. Only development will work, CAA, NRC and NPR will be rejected." the TMC supremo told reporters in Kolkata, amid the protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act(CAA), National Register of Citizens(NRC) and National Population Register(NPR).
NCP supremo Sharad Pawar utilised the AAP's sweeping win to stress that regional parties need to come together to keep the BJP out of power.
"The Delhi poll results indicate 'winds of change' are blowing in the country. The results are not surprising to me," Pawar told reporters in Pune.
"The BJP, as usual, played the communal card to polarise votes, but failed," he said.
After winning the Patparganj seat in a close contest, AAP senior leader and Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia accused the BJP of indulging in the politics of hate.
"We indulge in politics of development not politics of hate," he told reporters.
Even as Congress failed to open its account in this election, its senior leader P Chidambaram congratulated the AAP and said it had defeated the divisive politics of the BJP.
"AAP won, bluff and bluster lost. The people of Delhi, who are from all parts of India, have defeated the polarising, divisive and dangerous agenda of the BJP. I salute the people of Delhi who have set an example to other states that will hold their elections in 2021 and 2022."
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray congratulated the AAP and the people of Delhi and said, "People have shown that the country will be run by 'Jan Ki Baat', not 'Mann Ki Baat'. BJP called Kejriwal a terrorist but couldn't defeat him," he said.
"Development agenda has won, I congratulate Arvind Kejriwal. The Delhi polls have become bipolar, there was nothing for Congress in these polls," Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said.
Samajwadi Party(SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav said the poll outcome showed that Indians were both "socially liberal and politically intelligent".
"Most Indians are still socially liberal and politically intelligent and are against those that drag religion, which is such a personal issue into politics, for political gains.
"It is also an auspicious sign and healthy message for the peace and development of the country," the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister tweeted.
CPI-M veteran and Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan hailed Kejriwal's win as a victory for inclusive politics.
"Congratulations to @ArvindKejriwal and @AamAadmiParty on a resounding victory in Delhi elections. Let this victory be a harbinger for pro-people and inclusive politics in our country," Vijayan said in a tweet.
CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said Delhi has given a befitting reply to the BJP's "politics of hate and violence."
"Congratulations @ArvindKejriwal @AamAadmiParty and the people of Delhi who have given a befitting reply to BJP's politics of hate and violence.
Union ministers called for 'gaalis' and 'golis'. People have given their answer," Yechury said in a tweet.
CPI General Secretary D. Raja congratulated Kejriwal on phone.
DMK chief MK Stalin said the victory is an indication that "development trumps communal politics."
"Federal rights and regional aspirations must be strengthened in the interest of our country," he said.
RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav said the victory marks the defeat of "politics of polarisation".
"Congratulations @ArvindKejriwal ji & Delhi! You have defeated negative & blatant hate politics decisively. Your verdict marks the defeat of politics of polarisation and division. I sincerely hope BJP takes a cue from this result and shuns communalism & bigotry once for all," he said.
Calling Kejriwal as a leader who heralded development, former Karnataka Chief Minister and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy said people have taught a lesson for labelling him a "terrorist" and also upheld the necessity of a regional party.
"Heartfelt congratulations to @ArvindKejriwal @AamAadmiParty. People of Delhi have showed that "fascist ideology" will never win their hearts.
"Congratulations to AAP and voters of Delhi for testifying that successful politics with development as criteria (to win polls), amidst money and muscle power," Kumaraswamy tweeted.
TMC workers joined AAP supporters in various parts of West Bengal to celebrate the victory.
AAP supporters carrying party flags and posters were seen distributing sweets at various places in Kolkata to celebrate the party's win.
TMC cadres were seen bursting crackers and distributing sweets along with AAP supporters in different areas of the State.