Tuesday, 28 June 2016



Mood and morale of various parties…

The electoral battleground is yet unclear in Punjab and the scene is hazy.

Major players, as on date, include the ruling SAD / BJP combine, Congress and AAP. 

All of them are indulging in ferocious ‘jumla baji’ and putting up a happy and brave face but factually speaking the mood and morale of them all is somber. It is question of life and death for all three of them. Efforts are also on to create a loose ‘third Front’ which still has to take a shape.

Ruling SAD / BJP combine have their own different perspectives. Punjab has never been a high priority area for any of the national level parties because this small state sends only thirteen individuals to Lok Sabha. Punjab becomes more or less important only when any of the national parties have a thin presence in Lok Sabha. In the present context, though BJP does not give a damn as such but still it needs to recapture this state along with their alliance partners to give a shine to their sagging image. Post 2014, their performance in electoral politics of the country has been rather poor. They are losing credibility. As such BJP has to boost the sagging image of the party and of its powerful leader, the Prime Minister himself. Accolades obtained by the Prime Minister abroad notwithstanding; his image and reputation has only gathered dust at home. Recent NSG fiasco has put question a mark even on the credibility of his foreign policy. Size of Punjab and its minimal importance in the national politics notwithstanding, they badly need some reason to smile. 

SAD led by Sukhbir Singh Badal ia aiming for a hat trick. Stakes are very high for Sukhbir who knows that the image and stature of his father Mr. Parkash Singh Badal has been his only savior till now. With the growing age of his father, Sukhbir’s worries are also growing. If his father is able install him in the saddle of Chief Ministership of Punjab; post 2017, he may sail through otherwise satraps within his own party may make it difficult for him to survive politically. Already there are hard feelings within the party because the entire Badal clan, in its extended form, is occupying and enjoying top positions in Punjab and Central Governments. Sukhbir’s tongue lashing and dictatorial style of functioning has been irritating his senior colleagues in the party. BJP may also only look away as long as the senior Mr. Badal is around. Stories about the rift within this top family of the state have also been around. 2017, as such, is more of a question of political survival for the Badal family, particularly Sukhbir Badal.

Congress, is in total disarray and almost down in the pit. It is going to contest 2017 elections, keeping Capt Amarinder Singh at the centre stage. Developments till now indicate that they have practically given a long rope to Capt. He can either use it as a noose or to pull himself up. This long rope with ‘jalebies’ tied there on, includes a political campaign of his choice to be implemented through Prashant Kishore, party observers of his choice, ‘expulsion’ of Ahmad Patel, bringing in of ‘prabharies’ of his choice, first Kama Nath and now on Asha Kumari. ‘Jalebies’ include major say in selection of candidates as well.
As on date, the most serious challenge to the Nehru Gandhi family is from its regional satraps. Either of them has to get crushed. Capt is the only leader from Punjab who is capable of giving a battle challenge to Sonia and family which is keeping playing its cards well by not letting the political image of Priyanka getting diluted in any way. She is the Ace of Spades and kept fortified. Capt’s direct challenge to Rahul had indeed rattled the Janpath and in a deft political move, Rahul retreated on the political chess board making way for the Captain, in Punjab, who in his royal style declared that 2017 will be his last of the political battles. If lost, it may it may be the end of political fortunes of his family which means ‘the biggest hurdle gone’. Other regional satraps will take a lesson from his eclipse. And in case if he brings that party back in power then Congress will be gung ho and claim that Renaissance has begun. The Congress party has not much to lose. They can’t sink more. Capt, his weaknesses notwithstanding, will give a fight.

Coming to AAP, lesser said on date, the better. Fighting a battle with in and from outside, they also have a problem maintaining their credibility. Many of its cadre who swore by the broom is in double mind, several of them even carrying a banner of revolt. Their jumla baji notwithstanding, they have hardly made their stand on Punjab centric issues clear. There is no recognised leadership with a credible face which might be acceptable to all segments and sections of Punjab. As on date one can only wait and watch though wind appears to be in their favour.

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