The political atmosphere in Punjab is fast gaining momentum though the election dates are yet to be announced. The model code of conduct for elections will come into existence only after the dates are announced.
In the absence of model code of conduct the political parties are firing salvos in all directions without any check. The biggest beneficiary appears to the SAD-BJP alliance which is in power. The alliance has almost decided its candidates, while Congress is yet to come out with the names. The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) too has announced majority of candidates for the 117 member Vidhan Sabha.
Those who have been nominated by their respective parties are now spending money freely without restrictions. The ruling party is also releasing advertisements hailing its 10 year rule. All the newspapers, TV channels and the FM radio channels in various districts have been airing promotional matter for the SAD-BJP alliance.
The Congress is spending hugely on its campaign with the help of Indian Political Action Committee (IPAC) run by celebrated strategist Prashant Kishore. If insiders are to be believed the Congress has hired IPAC’s services at the total cost of Rs 110 crore.
The AAP is in news for replacing its candidates who are not financially strong. It has already changed its two candidates who were not able to speed up their campaign.
The crux of the matter is that all the parties are making use of money freely. They are also advertising themselves by painting walls of government and private buildings which otherwise is banned under the model code of conduct.
The election dates are expected to be announced by mid-December following which the election code of conduct will come into practise. The elections are due in the month of February 2017.
If political discourse is taken into consideration one finds that the level has gone down. The allegations levelled by the different parties against rival are appalling. Challenges are being thrown at each other asking to come forward for a public debate. PPCC Chief Amarinder Singh has asked AAP Convener Arvind Kejriwal to come forward for open public debate and in response Kejriwal has asked Captain to compete with AAP’s local leadership, as he would prefer to debate with Rahul Gandhi or Sonia Gandhi.
In unchecked political narrative the AAP has made Swiss bank accounts in the name of Captain Amarinder and his family public. People are getting confused as there was no body to gauge authenticity of the allegations. Amarinder has denied having any accounts abroad. The problem is who to believe?
The absence of model code has emboldened politicians to level unsubstantiated charges against each other. The only option left with the politicians is to file defamation cases in courts to bridle the narrative.