Indians in KSA rejoice at Modi’s defeat in Delhi

Updated 11 February 2015

Indians in KSA rejoice at Modi’s defeat in Delhi

Many Indian expatriates here are rejoicing after the sweeping victory of a little-known Indian political party over the ruling rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in Delhi state elections.
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), or Common Man’s Party, led by anti-corruption crusader Arvind Kejriwal, who was ridiculed by Modi during electioneering, won 67 out of 70 Delhi Assembly seats during the polls last week. The results were declared on Tuesday morning.
The BJP’s chief ministerial candidate Kiran Bedi was among the losers. Muslims overwhelmingly voted for the secular AAP. Four community representatives contesting on AAP tickets won with comfortable margins. They were Amanatullah Khan (Okhla), Imran Hussain (Ballimaran), Asim Ahmad Khan (Matia Mahal) and Mohammed Ishraque (Seelampur).
The verdict, coming just nine months after Modi won an overwhelming national vote, indicated that the maverick prime minister has lost considerable appeal.
“This is the defeat caused by arrogance,” said Dr. M.S. Karimuddin, a well-known Jeddah-based Indian community elder. “The attacks on churches, the campaign of calumny against Muslims, and the carte blanche given to big corporations resulted in this massive defeat for Modi and his BJP.”
Narasimhan Venkat from Hafr Al-Baten said any leader who tries to play with the Indian ethos of pluralism and inclusiveness would pay a heavy price. “Indians voted in large numbers for Modi in the last general elections because he talked of development,” he said.
“Nine months later, he was presiding over a country that seemed divided and scared,” said Venkat. “This is the reason why Hindus, Muslims, Christians and Sikhs came together to pull the country back from the brink of sectarian disaster,” he added.
Longtime Indian expat Nafis Tarin was elated at the results. “The AAP has restored our faith in democracy and secularism,” he told Arab News. “This is the beginning of a new era. The people of Delhi deserve to be given their weight in gold for scripting this spectacular victory for the AAP and puncturing the huge egos of Modi and BJP President Amit Shah.”
Expatriates said communal parties should have no place in India’s democracy. “Indians of all hues have rejected parochial parties,” said Mohammed Azeemuddin from Riyadh. “Muslims were especially angry with Ahmad Bukhari, the self-styled imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid who came out in support of the AAP.”
“I am very happy that the AAP rejected his offer. These are communal people and Muslims have rejected them. Muslims needed a viable alternative. In the absence of one, they voted begrudgingly for Congress. But now that they had the option they exercised it to the fullest and so the AAP won,” said Azeemuddin.
Dr. Saleem Mehkri from Madinah said: “Hopefully this trend continues in all the other states and both the fascist BJP and the hidden devil Congress make way for a balanced non-corrupt secular party.”
Arif Shah from Riyadh said it was “spectacular,” while Zahyr Siddiqi, from Jeddah, said that India is “changing for good.”
Abdulla Umerkhan from Jubail said all Indians “should salute the people of Delhi. No caste, no creed, no color, no community, no vote bank — this is a message to the world from the people of the Indian capital, that we Indians are one ... no force can drive a wedge between us.”
“This was the battle between the storm and the candle. The candle has won,” said Yogendra Yadav, a senior member of the AAP. “How could we even think of fighting such big political parties with so much money? But the people have carried us on their shoulders today.”
In the last local elections in December 2013, the BJP won 31 seats in the legislature. In May 2014, Modi helped the party take all seven of Delhi’s national parliamentary seats. Observers say the scale of the BJP’s reversal is stunning because voters have unquestionably grown impatient waiting for the “achche din” (good days) that Modi promised them.
Modi may regret having raised expectations so high during his candidacy. He promised new jobs, revived growth, lower inflation and an end to corruption and cronyism. His record on all fronts has been patchy, say expatriates.
One television news station called the outcome a “tectonic shift in Indian politics.”

Houthis drone attack targets Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jawf

Updated 19 min 46 sec ago

Houthis drone attack targets Saudi Arabia’s Al-Jawf

  • The drone was intercepted over Yemeni airspace
  • The coalition destroyed three drones during the earlier 24 hours

DUBAI: The Arab coalition destroyed a Houthi drone targeting Al-Jawf in the north of Saudi Arabia, state news agency SPA reported on Monday.

Coalition forces intercepted the drone while it was still in Yemen’s airspace.

Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said, the militia’s continued attempted attacks would end in failure,

Earlier on Monday, the coalition announced that they successfully destroyed three Houthi drones and intercepted six ballistic missiles targeting Saudi Arabia over 24 hours.

The missiles, which were launched from Saada, were targeting civilian areas in Al-Jazan, Al-Maliki said.

Earlier in August, 10 drones were fired at the Shaybah natural gas liquefaction plant in Saudi Arabia, near the UAE border – the Houthis claim responsibility for the attack.

There were no injuries and operations were not disrupted.