Punjab: AAP’s Loss Is Congress’ Gain, SAD-BJP Under-Perform

AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal.

The current trends from Punjab present a clear picture for the 13 seats in the state. AAP’s tally has gone down from 4 in the last elections to 1, while Congress has increased its gain from 4 in 2014 to 8 in 2019.

For AAP, the loss was imminent, for they had been witnessing their MPs and MLAs deserting them since early 2015. With the failure of Arvind Kejriwal to reconcile the party leadership in the state and to aid the growth of the ground network in the state, the loss comes as a severe dent to the party’s aspirations outside Delhi.

Apart from the Sangrur seat which the AAP will retain, the candidates are set to lose deposits in the other 12 seats. For the long run and apparent decimation of the party in Delhi, one cannot be sure as to how long will Bhagwant Mann fancy his association with the party.

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For Congress, the vacuum created by the AAP has been a blessing. Banking on the momentum from the state elections in 2017 and using the anger against the 10 years of SAD-BJP government in the state, the party has ensured 8 seats for itself under the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh, the Chief Minister.

The exceptional victory comes for Manish Tewari who has done the unthinkable by winning the Anandpur Sahib seat, while Preneet Kaur, wife of the CM Singh, has reclaimed Patiala, her parliamentary bastion.

For SAD, the results will have to be accepted with a grain of salt. The Badal family has secured its entry to the Parliament with Harsimrat Kaur leading in Bathinda and Sukhbir Singh Badal having won Firozpur. Harsimrat, who started with a weak lead, has found her margin consolidated over the last few hours and hence, will be expected to win. Of the 10 seats contested in, SAD has only won 2.

For BJP, the writing on the wall is clear. The party now must invest in a ground network that is not seen through the SAD filter. Having won 2 of the 3 contested seats, that of Gurdaspur with Sunny Deol and Hoshiarpur under Som Parkash, the BJP must fancy its chances for gradual gains in the state elections of 2022 and perhaps some major ones, in 2024.

The Kartarpur Corridor, under the Gurdaspur seat, can serve as the ideal starting point for BJP’s political aspirations in the state and a way for SAD to reclaim its lost sheen.

For Punjab, the final count shall rest on 8 for the Congress, 4 for SAD-BJP, and 1 for the AAP. It has been about the decimation of AAP, the local gain of the Congress, and the under-performance of the SAD-BJP who would feel they were 2 seats too short of the final tally.

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