Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh steered his party to power in Punjab with a roaring mandate after a decade. Congress won 77 seats out of 117 in Punjab and left both the Akali Dal and AAP far behind.
The main reason for overwhelming Congress victory in Punjab is very strong anti incumbency against the Akalis due to rampant corruption, mismanagement, lack of public sector employment, mounting agrarian distress and the alleged connivance of Akali politicians in narcotics trade which has ravaged Punjab and is a serious social menace.
Arvind Kejriwal’s AAP has emerged as the distant second largest party in Punjab, though it underperformed as per expectations of many who anticipated an AAP clean sweep. AAP got 20 seats. Few months back, AAP was the first choice of every political analyst and was perceived as a clear winner. But suddenly, things went from too good to too bad for Aam Aadmi Party.
1. AAP’s core support base was only limited to rural belts of Punjab. It did manage to mobilise peasants on left-leaning agendas but that was only limited to agrarian belts. Congress had a natural advantage that it had support base in rural as well as urban constituencies.
2. Arvind Kejriwal was only bluster and hyperbolic rhetoric, without any policy roadmap or concrete action plan. Plus, the daily tug-of-war in Delhi between Kejriwal-led state government and Central government further dampened its prospects.
3. Presence of outsiders in AAP and resignation of strong local leaders prior to elections.
4. Allegations of AAP pandering to NRI pro Khalistanis and selling tickets to highest bidders also had a negative impact on it’s prospects.
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