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Planned celebrations give way to silence at Kejriwal house

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New Delhi, March 11 (IANS) It was to have been a day of celebrations. But as it became clear that the AAP had lost badly in Punjab and Goa, gloom enveloped Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal’s residence here.

Ever since the February 4 election ended in both the states, the Aam Aadmi Party was supremely confident of taking office in Punjab although its claims were muted vis-a-vis Goa.

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 Kejriwal’s 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 one seat.

A 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. The big speakers were removed by around 1 p.m.

Soon after, the entire area wore a deserted look.

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