By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2022-03-07 14:18:55
The exit polls show that the people of Punjab have voted overwhelmingly for Aap Aadmi Party and have put their trust in the so-called 'Delhi model' which was highlighted by Arvind Kejriwal in asking for their votes. This will be a huge victory for the party which did everything right this time after bungling the 2017 campaign.
AAP clearly managed to turn the disenchantment of the people with the Congress government in its favour by carrying out a focused campaign that highlighted the success its government in Delhi. It also helped that a large Punjabi population in Delhi spread the good word to their relatives back home. Obviously, the people of Punjab found that the 'Delhi model' is people-friendly and the AAP will deliver on its promises. They also rejected the personal vilification campaign against Kejriwal. It also helped that AAP conducted a voters' poll to select their chief ministerial candidate and chose Bhangwant Mann after he won hands down in the tele-voting process. With a proven governance model, promises of a lot of freebies and a face to back the campaign, AAP seems to have won the trust of the people. With some exit polls showing it winning 100 seats (in a house of 117) this is going to be a landslide win that will totally crush the Congress.
The Congress could not fight anti-incumbency despite changing the chief minister (or may be because of it). Even the trick of appointing a Dalit chief minister in Charanjit Singh Channi in a state that has a huge percentage of Dalit voters did not work. The infighting in the state unit and Sidhuâs tantrums turned the people against it. This huge loss is likely to set the party back in a state where it traditionally enjoyed good support. The Akalis could not come out of the deep gorge they have fallen into and with people turning against the Congress, Amarinder Singh also could not make a difference. The BJP was never a serious player in the state and the alliance headed by it may end with 1-2 seats. The political foray of the farmers has also been rejected by the people. It is AAP all the way.