Politics Takes A Backseat In Poll-Bound Punjab After India-Pakistan Tension Escalates      

Swarajya Staff

Oct 03, 2016, 01:25 PM | Updated 01:24 PM IST

Sidhu addresses the media outside his residence. Photo
credit: MONEY SHARMA/AFP/GettyImages      
Sidhu addresses the media outside his residence. Photo credit: MONEY SHARMA/AFP/GettyImages      

Political discourse in poll-bound Punjab has taken a new course after the border state finds itself in a 'war-like' situation over the escalating tensions between India and Pakistan.

Until last week, politics in Punjab was at its peak. But, the India-Pakistan tensions have for now deviated the political course in the state, where all the talk was political - on whether or not the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the newest challenger to the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance and the opposition Congress, would pose a challenge to the traditional parties in assembly elections early next year.

The increasing attacks on AAP by the Akali Dal-BJP and Congress, the talk of the launch of a fourth front, the future of former Rajya Sabha MP and ex-BJP leader Navjot Singh Sidhu and other breakaway leaders as well as other political issues were pushed to the background as the war-mongering with Pakistan gained momentum.

The political leadership, which was leaving no opportunity in having a dig at one another till last week, are subdued in their political discourse owing to the India-Pakistan tension.

This was followed by Thursday's directions from the Union Home Ministry to the Punjab government to get the 10-km belt along the 553-km long international border in Punjab with Pakistan evacuated.

The evacuation of over 400,000 people from the border belt in the six frontier districts of Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Tarn Taran, Ferozepur and Fazilka has erased everything else.

Even the launch of a new political party, Apna Punjab Party (APP) on Saturday by former AAP Punjab convener Sucha Singh Chhotepur, remained a low-key affair in view of the border tensions.

Political leaders changed their discourse to link it to the border situation.

Congress leaders too accuse the Badal government of creating a scare. The Punjab government maintains there was no panic due to the latest border developments. A total of 117 assembly seats in Punjab go for election in January-February next year.

With inputs from IANS.

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