Chandigarh: Saturday’s results have left the Akalis in shock as many of its top guns including Janmeja Singh Sekhon and Sikander Singh Maluka are decimated. This performance seems worse than 1972 when the Akalis had bagged 24 seats.
While working on its “development agenda” for past one decade, the Shiromani Akali Dal wouldn’t have dreamt of such a poor response from the voters of Punjab while seeking their blessings for third term in a row.
Though his party could not even become eligible to be declared the main Opposition in Vidhan Sabha, the SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal thanked the people for the support they extended to the SAD-BJP combine for the last ten years, with also mentioning: “We honour the mandate given by Punjabis.”
He accepted the fact that the SAD-BJP alliance did not fare well due to concentration of AAP vote share and other factors too, which he claimed to examine in due course.
However, going by the sentiments prevailing in the state, one can assess that the sacrilege of holy books along with a negative campaign ran around the drugs, transport and sand-gravel issue worked disastrous for the Akalis.
The party’s social media team failed to check the things in time and before they could all come in action, people had accepted the opposition’s propaganda as truth.
Further, Panthic anger that was already visible got aggravated after the SAD-BJP alliance sought the support of Dera Sacha Sauda. On the one hand, the Dera failed to show its victorious impact and on the other hand, a section of Sikhs also got annoyed with the “Panthic Party”.
Apart from this, the coterie that had surrounded the SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal disturbed the party soldiers as it kept him away from the masses. At times, Taksali leaders raised the issue but the coterie successfully suppressed their voice but at the end the sulking workers showed their annoyance in the polls.
Now after the results, as Sukhbir has said to examine the things, one may expect that he would check such notorious elements in his group and keep them at bay. A close circle of bureaucrats can also not be spared if the faults are being analysed as they too did their best to detach the SAD chief from the trustworthy cadre. Anyways, a section of political observers still opine that the change was need of the hour as the SAD-BJP alliance had already served one bonus term from 2012-17 with also mentioning that the state had a history of rotational terms, which the SAD-BJP alliance had broken five years ago.
Amid the sadness, there is a section of Akalis which is still little positive on seeing that they somehow managed to restrain the AAP forming the government.
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