oppn parties Punjab: Captain Brushes Aside Kejriwal, Badal

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
oppn parties
Punjab: Captain Brushes Aside Kejriwal, Badal

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2017-03-12 21:33:00

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.
That the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance had lost Punjab was visible to all (even the BJP), except perhaps the Badals, much before the elections. Deep inside, maybe even the Badals knew they had committed more excesses than was politically permissible. But they could not take corrective measures in time and hence had to throw in the towel without even a semblance of a fight. Since the BJP has little infrastructure in the state, being a junior partner, it could not risk breaking the alliance and go it alone. But in doing this, the shadow of the Badals’ infamy has fallen on the party. Although in the end the alliance got 17 seats (the predictions were for a fall to single digits) and 30.6% of vote share, it will be a long haul back for the allies.

The Congress, on the other hand, has always had a huge presence in Punjab and more importantly, good local leaders. Since Capt. Amrinder Singh was handed the campaign charge in time and there was no unnecessary meddling from the high command (read Rahul Gandhi), Singh could channelize the energy of the party workers with a focus not seen in a long time in any Congress campaign. The overbearing presence of Capt. Singh quelled any murmurs of dissent in the party. Ticket distribution was smooth and the party reaped the dividends of running a planned campaign by reaching the post with a hugely satisfying 77 seats and 38.5% vote share.

The party that really lost face, and that only because of its chest thumping and loud talking satraps, was AAP. Despite getting a creditable 20 seats and 23.8% vote share as a debutant, AAP faced ridicule as it had declared itself the party that was sure to form the next government in the state with more than a 100 seats. The difference between 100 and 20 is as wide as the difference between the bloated image Kejriwal holds of himself and the way people see him. The problem with Arvind Kejriwal is that he is trying to compete with a certain Narendra Modi when his stature is not even that of competing with Rahul Gandhi. The way Delhi’ites are talking, Kejriwal will be hard pressed to retain Delhi, let alone spread wings elsewhere.

Capt. Singh’s hands will be full in tackling the mess the Badals have created in Punjab. The state was running on auto-pilot with little or no governance. Corruption is rampant and the drug menace omnipresent. It is only the indomitable Punjabi spirit that has not let it collapse completely. Singh is an experienced and able administrator. If he does not play favourites and appoints the best men to head the departments, he can be expected to turn the state around sooner rather than later. There is a catch though. If Rahul Gandhi and his team of advisors start meddling, even Capt. Singh will be hard pressed to govern properly.