Congress takes Punjab, voters punish Badal-led Akali Dal


| Punjab, India| 12 March 2016 | Asia Samachar |

NEW KING IN TOWN: Capt Amarinder Singh on the day after his party’s victory – PHOTO / PUNJAB CONGRESS FACEBOOK

Captain Amarinder Singh is set to return as the next chief minister of the India state of Punjab as the Indian National Congress (INC) won an outright majority in the 2017 state elections.

The Congress party won 76 seats, defeating two-term Akali Dal-BJP combine which only won 17 seats. Newcomers to Punjab politics, Aam Aadmi Party (APP), won 22 seats.

“This is the revival of the Congress, it is just the beginning. Congress will spread from here,” creketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu, who won on the Congress ticket, said at a press conference in Amritsar.

He was one of the ‘superstar’ politicians on the side of the Congress which managed to feed on the anti-incumbency sentiments to dislodge the Akali Dal-BJP combine led by Parkash Singh Badal.

“Despite Modi-magic sweeping state polls in Uttar Pradesh and Uttrakhand, Punjab proved to be an antithesis…The saffron party’s fortunes sunk with its coalition partner Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD),” reported Hindustan Times.

SAD won 15 seats and BJP left with a mere three seats, down from 19 in 2007 and 12 in 2002.

Demonetization announced by PM Narendra Modi in November 2016 proved a setback for the BJP, which is visible in its performance in the urban sector, the report suggested.

It added that in Punjab, BJP had failed to insulate itself from the negative perception its coalition partner SAD earned after ten years of rule in the state.

“This was expected because we failed to protect ourselves from the public ire Akalis suffered. We were punished a severely as Akalis,” it quoted an unnamed BJP leader.


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Congress likely to win Punjab state elections, says early reports (Asia Samachar, 11 March 2017)

Kirpal Singh Badungar returns as SPGC president (Asia Samachar, 7 Nov 2016)

The Badal Business – INDIAN EXPRESS (Asia Samachar, 9 May 2015)