Chandigarh: Against the hype of sweeping Punjab with 100 seats coming in its kitty, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in alliance with the Lok Insaf Party (LIP) could bag just 22 seats.
Though it is little bigger in size if compare with the SAD-BJP alliance that won 18 Assembly segments, leaving 77 for the Congress in the 117 seats for Vidhan Sabha, the results shattered the dream of party convener Arvind Kejriwal as well as cadre that was highly euphoric till Saturday morning.
Once observing the trends indicating a humiliating defeat, Kejriwal was quick in the afternoon to accept it saying his struggle would continue.
“We respect the people’s decision. I thank all the party workers for their hard work. The struggle would continue,” he tweeted.
Now, the AAP will sit in the opposition after it pushed the SAD-BJP alliance to number three. What disturbed the poll prospects of the AAP when there was a major section of the society openly favouring it to counter the widespread anti-incumbency wave prevailing in the state, has now become a subject to analyse for the party leadership.
A quick survey on Saturday suggested that there were lot many issues including the AAP’s closeness to the radicals, no declaration of Chief Ministerial candidate, being inexperienced, allegations of ticket selling, sacking the state convener Such Singh Chhotepur, dominance of outsiders, lack of proper organisational structure and also the controversies in Delhi were observed to be the important ones. Further, a perception of the state under the rule of AAP to be governed by remote from Delhi also came as a major hindrance on the victory path.
The twin blasts in Maur mandi of Bathinda district, which took place just few days ahead of the polls, shocked the voters as it was reportedly targeted at Congress candidate Harminder Jassi during which six persons lost lives.
A sizeable number of the AAP supporters opted to detach them from the campaign after the blast as the Congress and SAD-BJP both strongly accused the AAP leadership’s proximity with hardliners involved in terror activities with also supporting their allegations by repeatedly highlighting Kejriwal’s visits to some of such controversial persons’ places.Amid all this, people of Punjab especially the urban population chose the secular Congress instead.
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