The Legislative Assembly Polls in five Indian states in 2022 assumes a special significance as it has been seen as background for the General Elections that the country is going to hold in 2024 to re-elect the Lok Sabha.
This is the primary reason why a cut-throat political competition is currently going on over the five assembly polls for Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur. Among them, the polls in Punjab, Goa and Uttar Pradesh attains special reference as it may mark the rise of BJP, further marginalization of Congress, shape political future of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Trinamool Congress (TMC), Samajwadi Party (SP), Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) and the regional parties.
Another factor why the Assembly Polls are very important politically as none of the political parties this time can be sure about their victory due to volatility that marked following frequent change of banners by prominent leaders across all the parties.
Here, the uncertainty of political future of parties, particularly the BJP and Congress, comes to the fore. For the BJP, the issue is would it make it? For Congress the gut issue is would it further get marginalized?
This may be the pivotal issue for all the five states but it is more so in the case of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Goa.
Let us have a look in the case of these three states, in particular.
Which Way Would Punjab Go?
Since the BJP had never been a political force in Punjab, the main battle was between the ruling Congress and Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) of Captain Amrinder Singh who inflicted a pre-poll rude blow following his feud with every talking Navjot Singh Sidhu of comedy show fame.
To top it, Sidhu again crossed swords with the first ever Dalit Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi further jeopardizing the Congress as the party practically is facing uncertainty over the outcome of the Legislative Assembly Polls.
Sidhu’s opposition to Channi already antagonized the entire backward and Dalit Sikh voters as Channi’s elevation as Chief Minister was seen as first attempt made in the politics of Punjab to help them gain status vis-à-vis supremacy of Jat-Sikhs in the state’s politics continuing since 1952.
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