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Even when Narendra Modi loses, he wins

Opposition leader Arvind Kejriwal is imitating the Indian prime minister's Hindu nationalist agenda

By Harsh V Pant   April 2020
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supporters celebrate after the party won the Delhi Assembly elections, New Delhi, India, 11 February 2020. Credit: Rajat Gupta/EPA/Shutterstock

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal displays his ink-marked finger after casting his ballot during the Delhi State Assembly Elections. Credit: Arish Tyagi/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Less than a year ago, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi looked impregnable. He had won re-election in a landslide, shifted the country decisively to the right and decimated the main opposition Congress party. His sectarian decision to change the status of Kashmir and propose a new citizenship law provoked cries of outrage, but did not appear to dent his popularity.

But February’s state elections in Delhi have dealt Modi a blow—and may have shown his opponents how he can eventually be defeated at national level. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)—or Common Man Party—won 62 out of 70 seats,…

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