(M P Rabindernath)
Cricketer-turned-politician-cum-reality show judge, Navjyot Singh Sidhu’s, decision to float a new party, “Awaz-e-Punjab or Voice of Punjab”, indeed is a rude shock, especially to most ambitious Aam Admi Party, headed by Arvind Kejriwal.
Call it a ‘master stroke’ or ‘brutal blow’ or a “googly”, the worst sufferer in the upcoming Punjab assembly elections early next year would be none other than the Congress and the AAP.
Sidhu, in fact, has put to rest speculations that he had been bargaining with the AAP for ‘prospective CM post’ and the latter turned down as its founder president Arvind Kejriwal is more than ambitious to take over reins in Punjab as it happens to be a full-fledged state unlike Delhi.
Political observers were of the opinion that Kejriwal, though got a massive mandate in Delhi, is unable to function effectively because of ‘administrative restrictions’ under the Ministry of Home through the Lieutenant Governor.
So, Arvind Kejriwal was nursing the idea of heading Punjab government with the AAP sweeping the next year polls so that he could prove his abilities as future PM candidate.
But, Sidhu has clean bowled Kejriwal by a sharply-turning “googly”.
Awaaz-e-Punjab, the new party that Sidhu has announced has three sitting MLAs. While former Indian team skipper Pargat Singh, who is sitting MLA of ruling Shiromani Akali Dal, the two others are Ludhiana based independents, Simarjit Bains and Balwinder Bains,
The entry of Sidhu with Awaaz-e-Punjab Party makes the upcoming assembly polls in Punjab very exciting,
The ruling Akali Dal-BJP government is facing considerable anti-incumbency factor. Some poll surveys conducted claimed that the ruling alliance image is getting more and more unpopular due to its failure to combat ‘drug mafia’ as well burning farmers issues.
With the sex-CD scandal involving the Minister of Child and Women Welfare Department making headlines tarnishing the brand image of the AAP as a party with difference, no longer, anti incumbency vote banks are going to polarize towards the AAP.
In contrast, the main Opposition Congress, is struggling with internal fighting. Capt Amarinder Singh is putting up a brave ‘fight’ ahead of elections through media blitzkrieg.
Now the question that is worrying not only ruling and opposition parties in Punjab, but also political analysts; “Who’s going to benefit from Sidhu’s new party – the ruling or Opposition?’
From distance, Orangenews9 visualizes possibility of ‘benefit’ going to the ruling Akali-BJP alliance with the anti incumbency votes getting divided among the three opposition parties.
In retrospect, one week is too long a time in politics. How the people of Punjab will vote in such a highly surcharged and confused atmosphere developing, none can predict at such an early stage. Certainly AAPs image as a party with difference has taken a beating.