In what may come as a big relief to beleaguered Congress party, which has been losing every election that it has stood in over the recent period, bested each time by Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on each occasion, an opinion poll held in Punjab ahead of the state elections shows that it is set to come back to power under Capt Amarinder Singh’s leadership.
The Modi charisma is unlikely to rub off onto the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance this time according to the poll and Parkash Singh Badal led party is set to be relegated to the third position behind the Arvind Kejriwal led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).Elections in Punjab will be held on February 4 while the counting will be done on March 11. What is expected to hit the alliance is the huge incumbency factor, but most of all the fact that Badal and son Sukhbir Singh have not been able to get the troubled economy going, the various scam allegations they are facing and the drugs problem has acquired emergency proportions with no effective crackdown by the government in sight. The BJP as the junior partner has not looked to upset the government by asking for a change in tack.
According to India Today-Axis Opinion Poll, the Congress is likely to win 56-62 seats, Aam Admi Party may end up winning 36-41 seats while SAD-BJP combine may come a distant third by winning 18-22 seats. As per the poll, Captain Amrinder Singh of the Congress is most favoured face to become next chief minister of the state, 34 percent of voters favouring him, current Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in second position with 22 percent, while AAP supremo and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal coming third with 16 percent being in his favour.
Also, the Congress is likely to get 35 percent of vote share, while AAP and SAD-BJP combine are likely to get 29 percent and 24 percent share.