Lynchpin Capt leaves all parties to lick their wounds

Lynchpin Capt leaves all parties to lick their wounds

The election outcome in Punjab denotes a clear and certain trajectory that is bound to impact the political discourse in the years ahead. It underlines the distinct emergence, rather a systematic settlement, of a formidable third front for the first time in Punjab in the shape of the AAP, which no longer would be dubbed a rookie.

AAP’s footprints are now sizable and significant, irrespective of its flip-flop and over optimism in dreaming a clean sweep in Punjab.

The takeaway for the BJP, an ally of the SAD, could offer the party some light at the end of the tunnel. The BJP in Punjab tasted dust also for its failure, rather inability, to see itself as an independent entity, outside of its ally SAD, that could assert and think beyond its Modi-centric laurels.

The saffron party possibly may have shrugged off a lot of the baggage of anti-incumbency and taint by severing ties with SAD and contesting elections independently as a pre-poll manoeuvre.

Punjab is one state where, despite all the ‘Modi-magic’ still relevant in many parts of the country, the BJP endures its falling political stock.

Down and out
The Akali Dal is down and out. The poll outcome is a chiseled expression that development by the incumbents, however phoney or otherwise it may sound, cannot hold sway over voters in the face of taint and “flawed” governance at the ground level.

Congress chief minister-in-making Capt Amarinder Singh, the party’s linchpin, walks away with all the credit. On his birthday today, Capt Amarinder, 75, will have the cake and eat it too.

Call it by design or otherwise, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi was rather ‘under-exposed’ during poll campaign in Punjab. The party banked solely on Capt’s leadership, projecting him as a ‘saviour and champion’ of the people of Punjab in a new avatar.

The Congress victory in blocking the entry of former BJP MP Navjot Sidhu in the AAP proved hugely fulfilling. Sidhu helped Congress make sizable gains in Majha where the AAP performance was a damp squib.

Worry lines
The Akali Dal has a reason to worry. The party did not read the writing on the wall. A decade of anti-incumbency and people angry with their alleged misrule, incidents of sacrilege, drugs and unemployment to quote a few.

The SAD leadership failed to reign in its many ‘halka incharge,’ the superimposed local Akali leaders in every district, who messed up the party image.

The party also remained much in denial over the drug menace in Punjab.

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