Politics News

Cong Faces Sacrilege Heat, AAP Fights Bickering, SAD in Perception Battle: What’s in Store for Punjab in 2022?

Despite having been hit by a revolt against its Chief Minister in the middle of 2021, Punjab Congress seemed to be holding a decisive advantage in the 2022 battle for the state assembly. The Aam Admi Party (AAP) was reeling under bickering as many of its leaders deserted the party. While the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) continued to ward off an image crisis, the BJP was pushed into oblivion due to the three contentious farm laws. As the year ends, the Congress has seen that advantage gradually diminish with an intriguing electoral battle for Punjab on the cards.

The year saw cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu declare an open war against Amarinder Singh who resigned in September after months of bitter internecine battle between his and Sidhu’s supporters. Finally, as Amarinder relinquished his post and Sidhu was made the Pradesh Congress Committee chief, what was left behind was a fractured and vulnerable Punjab Congress.

The exit of Amarinder has only added to the confusion amongst party leaders and its cadre. While Sidhu reckoned that he would hold the reins of power by installing Charanjit Singh Channi as the first Dalit chief minister of Punjab has only added to the intriguing war within the Congress. Channi so far seems to have played out a smart political game, relying mainly on his “poor background” and the Dalit leader making it to the top post. In fact, the Congress would rely heavily on this factor during the campaign. At least 32% of the Punjab population comprises Dalits hence the Channi move would play a crucial role in determining the outcome of the election.

Another factor that plays out as a run-up to the polls is the suspension of farmers’ agitation after the Centre decided to repeal the three laws. The farm leaders who were spearheading the agitation are now contemplating taking a plunge into the electoral battlefield. While Gurnam Singh Charuni has already announced his own political outfit, reports of AAP trying to get Balbir Singh Rajewal onboard could make the battle even more interesting. Rajewal, however, has on record denied any such move.

The Congress also faces new challenges by the recent incidents of sacrilege and subsequent lynching of the suspects. It is yet to make any constructive strides in the earlier Behbal Kalan sacrilege case with Sidhu and Channi seemed to be not on the same page.

Despite the internal tussle, AAP is being seen as the principal challenger to the Congress even though delays in announcing the CM face seems to be pulling AAP back. Arvind Kejriwal had officially announced that AAP’s chief ministerial candidate would be a Sikh. Analysts believe that announcing a CM face could give AAP the much needed fillip in the final lap of the Punjab race.

The SAD has already been quite off the blocks announcing candidates for almost all seats but it continues to face a perception battle since the time it was voted out of power in 2017.

While 2021 played out an intriguing political battle in Punjab, 2022 promises to be no different.

Read all the Latest News, Breaking News and Coronavirus News here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *