Read - Part 2 Who will Punjab Assembly Election 2017
Punjab is going to the assembly polls in 2017 and this election's outcome will take who is going to form the next government in the Punjab. For the last two elections, BJP-SAD alliance has emerged as the winner by defeating Congress. So far, the election fight in Punjab has remained bi-polar with Congress at one side and BJP-SAD alliance at the other side. However, this Punjab is going to see a tri-angular fight because of the strong presence of the AAP in the state.
In the 2014 Loksabha election, Punjab was the only state where the Aam Admi Party (AAP) won four Loksabha seats; though soon two of its MPs split away from the party. Despite this, it looks that AAP can give a good fight or at least spoil the dream of either party/alliance. Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Bhartya Janta Party (BJP) alliance is likely to face strong anti-incumbency, which may go in the advantage of either Congress or AAP.
Congress is an old political party and it has strong presence in Punjab. This party has given many Chief Ministers to the state. Few days, Manpreet Singh Badal (nephew of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal) merged his political party People's Party of Punjab (PPP) into the Congress. This move has given some strength to Congress party; however, in reality PPP don't enjoy much base in Punjab.
When BJP and SAD come together, then, it became a winning combination because this alliance was able to appeal both Hindu and Sikh voters of Punjab who are in majority.
Present Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab, Sukhbir Singh Badal said a few days back that he is confident of his alliance win 2017 too because of condition of Punjab has improved in their tenure.
The main issues in Punjab are unemployment, poor infrastructure, corruption, drug abuse, sand mafia and involvement of names of political leaders in corruption. Due to these reasons, it is likely that the SAD-BJP will face strong anti-incumbency; however, it depends on them, how they tackle it.
Both Congress and AAP are looking to get an advantage from the anti-incumbency against the present government. However, it is still not clear that who will get maximum benefit from it. The issue with Congress is that it lacks new faces and it is struggling with internal fights. Congress has a good presence in Punjab; however, it is somewhat disconnected with voters at the root level. On the other hand, AAP is working on the root level through their 1 Lakh plus volunteers.
So far, it looks a tough tri-angular fight between BJP-SAD, Congress and AAP. Still, there is a one year time for this election and all parties have a good time to correct their issues. At this time, I see a tight fight between Congress and AAP with BJP-SAD is strongly flowing behind.
Still, with one year for elections, many things can change and I will keep on updating on all these updates.
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