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People want more. They will always want more.

Anmol Jain

Jun 27, 2024, 08:09 PM | Updated 08:38 PM IST

Clouds Over Badal's Leadership: The Crisis In Akali Dal Is Deepening

Dear Reader,

Today we talk about Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), a party which is in turmoil. The senior leaders of SAD are demanding Sukhbir Singh Badal's resignation as president.

The rebellion: Under Badal, SAD's influence plummeted. In the 2022 Vidhan Sabha elections, they secured only 3 out of 117 seats.

  • Latest blow: In the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, SAD won just 1 out of 13 seats. Their vote share dropped to 13.42%.

Rebels: Ex-MP Prem Singh Chandumajra, Sikander Singh Maluka, and others have argued that SAD needs new leadership to recover. SAD's general secretary Bikram Singh Majithia has a crucial role to play here. His absence from key meetings also highlights internal tensions.

  • SGPC's role: SGPC President Harjinder Singh Dhami's position is pivotal. His stance could significantly impact the party's future.

However, Sukhbir Badal dismissed the rebellion as a conspiracy, particularly by the BJP, and emphasised loyalty to Panthic principles.

SAD at a crossroads: To survive, the party needs to address its internal issues, reconnect with all the communities in Punjab to pursue broader and inclusive strategies.

The decisions made now will determine whether SAD ascends or fades into political oblivion. Read this fantastic piece by Aryaman Sharma on the internal crisis unfolding in SAD.

Limits of the 'Labharthi' Vote: People want more. They will always want more.

PM Modi meeting 'labharthis'
PM Modi meeting 'labharthis'

BJP's strategy of relying heavily on the "Labharthi" (beneficiaries of welfare schemes) vote might have hit its limit in the 2024 elections.

Election Outcome: Despite significant welfare schemes, BJP failed to secure a majority, sparking varied reactions and analyses. Congress has spun its poor showing into a moral victory, but the real game-changers were the provincial opposition parties.

  • Despite a limited victory, Congress is celebrating. They see the BJP's slip as their win, similar to a sports rivalry where one team’s loss feels like a victory for the other.

BJP's "Labharthi" Strategy: The BJP's focus on welfare beneficiaries didn't pan out as expected. Gratitude doesn’t guarantee votes; voters crave new promises and expectations.

  • Regional Differences: The reasons for BJP’s setbacks vary by region. For instance, BJP’s struggles in Maharashtra don’t explain its success in Odisha.

  • Social Coalitions: BJP's social coalition strategy from 2014 may have worn out. Voters need fresh ideas and promises to stay engaged.

BJP’s reliance on the "labharthi" vote is a lesson for future elections. The need for innovative strategies and policies is clear. As voters' expectations evolve, and political strategies must adapt.

Dive Deeper: Venu Gopal Narayanan in his piece argues that "People want more. They will always want more. Their yearning for earnings will never cease. It is human nature. Thus, a good starting point could possibly be an internal admission that a political party is not an FMCG brand."

Until tomorrow,

Anmol N Jain


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