New Delhi: Arvind Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is set to sweep the Punjab Assembly elections, initial trends show. It will be the first government of AAP outside Delhi.
We take a look at reasons as to what led to such historic performance in Assembly polls:
Punjab has seen change of power every 5 years, with Congress and SAD-Akali combine alternating between different regimes. Captain Amarinder rode to power in 2017 elections with a big mandate but failed to live to the aspirations of people of the state. Drug abuse, rampant corruption were issues that needed resolution but Congress govt failed to yield results on this. Rather, it was seen in cahoots with Akalis due to its soft-pedalling of charges against the Badals.
For last 70 years, people have alternated between two parties but this time they voted for a change. AAP’s slogan of clean governance & freebies made people believe in its promises and that’s reflecting in the results.
Touting the Delhi model yielded results
During campaigning, Arvind Kejriwal relied upon heavily on selling its Delhi model. AAP’s strong pitch on quality education and health in the poll-bound state appealed to voters while Delhi govt’s subsidies on water & electricity found a strong among Punjab voters.
In Punjab, the education and health model are mostly privatised and therefore incur heavy expenses. Hence, when AAP tried to hardsell its Delhi model of governance, people of Punjab immediately warmed up to the idea.
Women voters, a key game changer
AAP made a strong pitch for wooing the women voters in the state. It’s promise of depositing Rs 1,000 money into accounts of women struck chord with the section that have remained largely ignored by parties. It was a deliberate bid by the AAP to woo their support as a strong vote bank and not just treating them as subsidiary of patriarchal system.
It also got groundswell of support from youth also as they wanted to give chance to a party which promised cheap water & electricity.
Farm agitation and its impact
The 3 agricultural farm laws brought by Modi government proved to be its nemesis and singed the Akalis also. The farming community bear a strong grudge against BJP for making their life miserable while the AAP came out as sympathiser of the protesters.
Bhagwant Mann as CM face
BJP & Congress units of the state portrayed AAP as a party of outsiders but with the anointment of Bhagwant Mann worked a great deal in buffering its ‘alien’ image. Though his rivals poked fun at the comedian-turned politician but AAP CM face is also known for his son-of-the-soil image. When the worth of candidates keeps on increasing, Mann’s financial wealth has been on a decline every election.