Punjab Elections 2022: Opinion polls show AAP emerging as single largest party, Akali Dal may play kingmaker

Punjab Elections 2022: AAP may emerge as the single largest party, but fall short of majority in the 11-member state assembly.

Punjab Elections 2022: AAP may emerge as the single largest party, but fall short of majority in the 11-member state assembly.

The Aam Aadmi Party seems to have further bolstered its position in Punjab ahead of the Assembly elections due next month where it is likely to emerge as the single largest party, according to two opinion polls conducted by ABP C Voter and Times Now. 

Both the surveys have projected 55-56 seats for Arvind Kejriwal’s party in the 117-member state assembly, where the majority mark is 59. On the other hand, the ABP CVoter survey has projected 40 seats for the ruling Congress whereas the Times Now survey has given it 44 seats.

While both the surveys, like the several other conducted late last year, have predicted a hung house in Punjab, the Shiromani Akali Dal is expected to emerge as the kingmaker. While Times Now survey has given the SAD 13 seats, the ABP CVoter survey puts 20 seats in its kitty. 

The BJP is set to bear the brunt of the farmers’ angst over the now-repealed farm laws as both the surveys have predicted two seats for the saffron party which has joined hands with Captain Amarinder Singh’s party. 

In 2017, the Congress had won the mandate in Punjab by bagging 77 seats while the AAP had won in 20 constituencies, becoming the main opposition party in the state. 

Making its debut in the recently Chandigarh municipal corporation elections, the AAP stunned the Congress and BJP, emerging as the single largest party by winning in 14 of the 35 wards. The ruling BJP won 12 and remained in the second spot.   

The Punjab polls, scheduled to be held on February 14, have turned into a multi-cornered contest with the entry of new players like Captain Amarinder Singh and some farmer unions floating their own outfits.

The massive dip in seat share for the Congress is feared to be an aftermath of the infighting faced by the party recently. Political experts are of the view that the leadership crisis faced by the Congress, which is yet to have a full-time President two years after Rahul Gandhi quitting the party chief post, is a major reason behind the instability and infighting in the state units.

After quitting the Congress, former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh formed his own party and announced alliance with the BJP and Sukhdev Singh Dhinda-led SAD (Sanyukt). On the other hand, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) have formed an alliance for the upcoming polls, calling it a new day in the politics of Punjab.

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