News Brief

Punjab Assembly Elections 2022: BJP Preparing To Go Solo By Contesting On All 117 Seats       

Swarajya Staff

Dec 07, 2020, 10:37 AM | Updated 10:35 AM IST

BJP supporters raise party flags at a rally.
BJP supporters raise party flags at a rally.
  • The party is set to break away from the practice of fighting a limited number of seats, and set to expand its footprint in Punjab.
  • The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is preparing to fight all 117 seats in Punjab. The BJP had fought elections in Punjab in alliance with the Badal-family led Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). However, this time, the party is said to be preparing for going solo amid the ongoing agitation by the farmers.

    Akali Dal snapped its 24-year long ties with the BJP as part of the National Democratic Alliance in the wake of the new agricultural reform laws. The BJP is now reportedly working to contest on its own. The state will go to assembly polls in 2022.

    BJP general secretary has been quoted as saying that the party is making preparations with workers on ground to take the fight to the 23,000 polling booths in the state. For this, they are strengthening their organisational structure for the booths.

    The party is set to break away from the practice of fighting on a limited number — of 23 seats over the years.

    The statements from BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh came two days after Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh "dismissed the BJP as a non-entity in Punjab’s political arena."

    Chugh reportedly added that in 1992 the BJP had taken six seats with 16 per cent vote share when it contested the assembly polls all by itself. “The party has come a long way from there and has strengthened its presence in the state,” he added.

    Chugh asked Singh to "understand the ground realities of Punjab politics".

    Sections of the media have reported that the BJP would like to expand after the breaking of ties with the Akali Dal. The Congress would want to reap the benefits of Akali Dal and BJP parting ways by having its grip on the Hindu vote.

    Now, the Congress and BJP will aim for the Hindu vote in the changed scenario with the breaking of the SAD-BJP alliance that saw five assembly polls and five Lok Sabha polls.

    The BJP would naturally not like the Congress to win the advantage of a split in Hindu votes in urban and semi urban areas, even as the rural pitch would remain a challenge for it.

    At the same time, it seems to be working to tap the benefits of SAD's disadvantage in the state after the breaking up of the alliance.

    Meanwhile, new developments in Punjab politics are reportedly taking place amidst the ongoing farmers' agitation.

    The list of joinees to the party has been growing bigger ever since the SAD broke ties with the BJP.

    Among the joinees is former bureaucrat Gurpal Bhatti, former session judge Karnail Singh and Rakesh Rinku, a leader from the Congress SC cell.

    There are reports of local members from the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party joining the BJP. These new joinees, reports say, hint at the new patterns of support and new political equations for the BJP in Punjab.

    The New Indian Express has a different take. The report mentions that the BJP, "already a marginal force in the border state of Punjab", seems to be losing the existing goodwill in the rural areas.

    "The BJP has so far ridden piggyback on its trusted longtime ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in the state politics," the report says, adding that the party "is now heading for a self-goal by antagonising Sikh voters."

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