Punjab assembly elections: In a big surprise, Sonia and Rahul Gandhi led Congress Party, under the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh in Punjab, is set to return to power in the state, again and in the process decimate the Amit Shah led Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and CM Sardar Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal led Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) combine, a poll held ahead of the assembly elections has revealed. The greatest gains, according to the poll, will be made by the Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
According to the opinion poll held recently, whose results have been revealed today, the Congress is all set to emerge as the largest party in Punjab with MLAs numbering anywhere between 49-55. However, this is not going to give it a majority and that puts a question mark on whether Capt Amarinder Singh will emerge as the new Chief Minister of Punjab. That gives a dark horse in the assembly a chance to come up trumps. Who that will be, in case the actual assembly result mirrors the opinion poll, is not yet clear, but s/he may well not be from Congress – in Uttar Pradesh, the poll predicted that BJP will emerge as the largest party but without a majority and that most respondents wanted Mayawati as the Chief Minister. BSP will emerge as the second-largest party according to the poll and after negotiations and alliance with BJP will give Mayawati the chance to be CM again.
Having said that, in Punjab, Capt Amarinder Singh Badal has emerged as the leader when it comes to respondents choosing a chief minister. Badal and Arvind Kejriwal are left behind, according to a poll held by India Today-Axis. As per the poll, Amarinder gets a thumbs up from 33% of the respondents, surprisingly Parkash Singh Badal gets 25%, Avind Kejriwal 16% and Sidhu only 8%. AAP’s Bhagwant Mann brings up the rear.
The Aam Aadmi Party, which has taken Punjab by storm, due to the corruption allegations against both the Badal regime as well as Amarinder Singh, will see its tally shoot up by anything between 42 and 46. That means they are the likely kingmakers.
What is really hitting the SAD-BJP combine is the fact that Punjab has emerged as one of the worst affected states in India due to the rampant drug problem and the Badals are perceived not to have taken stringent steps to stamp it out.
A major coup has been effected by the Congress if it gets former BJP leader and former cricketer Navjot Singh Sidhu to join its ranks. Sidhu’s standing in the state is high. However, he may suffer if there is a big backlash against him from his earlier supporters and voters.
However, AAP spokesperson has said that the party does not agree with the poll result. He said that the party will win over 80 seats and emerge at the top.