Reported By:| Edited By: Abhishek Sharma |Source: |Updated: Jan 07, 2022, 09:11 PM IST
Former Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh, who parted ways with the Congress a few months ago, is set to contest the upcoming elections in the state with his political party, the Punjab Lok Congress (PLC). Singh will enter the electoral fray in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt).
The only target of the former CM is Congress and by causing political damage in the polls, he aims to make the party realize its mistake. Congress is also aware of his plans and has started preparing the blueprint of the multi-corner contest.
However, with elections likely to be just a few months away, the big question is how much will Singh be able to woo the voters of Punjab.
Captain Amarinder Singh is hoping to bring in at least 24 MLAs from the ruling Congress who are likely to be denied tickets in the upcoming elections. He is also eyeing disgruntled party leaders from the Aam Aadmi Party and the Akali Dal factions.
Singh has been the Chief Minister of Punjab twice. By remaining in power for about 9 and a half years, he has a deep hold on the political ground of the state. He has several colleagues in the Congress, who will not hesitate to go with him when the time arrives. Although a big face is not associated with him yet, after the heat of the election environment, there are signs of a political stampede.
File photo: Punjab Lok Congress founder and former Punjab CM Captain Amarinder Singh and Union minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat greet each other (ANI photo)
The internal rift in Congress has weakened it considerably in Punjab and it has become difficult for Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi to keep the flock together. Along with the opposition, he also faces resistance from Navjot Singh Sidhu, the Punjab Congress chief, who challenges the government of his own party. In such a situation, Congress is on shaky ground.
Channi remained a low-profile minister in the Captain’s cabinet for four and a half years before he became the first Dalit CM of the state. AAP convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal is also taking trips to Punjab in the hope of doing something better than 2017 this time.
On the other hand, BJP’s vote share in Punjab is up to 8 percent and Amarinder also has influence in the urban class. In such a situation, the PCL-BJP-SAD alliance along with the defecting MLAs from other parties can do well in the urban seats. Out of the 117 seats in the Punjab Assembly, the BJP is expected to field its candidate on 40 urban and 51 semi-urban seats, while candidates of PLC and SAD (Sanyukt) are likely to contest from rural areas.
History is witness to the fact that in Punjab politics, except Akali Dal, no regional party could last very long and they eventually had to merge into one big party or the other. In such a situation, it will not be an easy path for Singh.