Punjab 2017 – Retrospect

Punjab elections 2017 are over. A long wait for election results continue till March 11th. It was mostly a peaceful campaign excluding some incidents which included shooting and injuries. Non-Resident Indians participated in larger numbers, possibly some foreign nationals of Indian origin campaigning at ground zero with high chances of violating Indian election rules.

Akali Dall Badal, BJP, Akali Dall Amritsar and Congress had nothing new to offer and played the same old tune. AAP presenting itself to be a different party portraying to be anti-corruption and promised to run candidates who were party field volunteers. The party claiming to be the “ethical” party is stormed with allegations of undisclosed funds raised by AAP candidates outside of Punjab and India. The AAP high command in Delhi intensively worked to successfully field the plucked candidates from other parties, suppressing the field volunteers who worked for months to lay the grass root network for AAP.

It also seems that the election was being fought between Akali Dall Badal and Congress on one side and AAP+BJP on the other side.

Interestingly, AAP took their focus off from Goa and put all their resources into Punjab and vice verse, BJP put all their resources into Goa elections and let Punjab slide by. It was very interesting to see Prime Minister Modi visit Punjab during the campaign and not mention AAP in his speech and similarly AAP in Punjab did not have much to say about Punjab BJP either! It almost feels like “you scratch my back and I will scratch yours.” – AAP can have Punjab and BJP can have Goa but in rest of five states due for elections, there we can fight it out.

Historically the Punjab state is a Sikh state and it is important to see the Punjab political scene through the Sikh lens. The campaign was also missing the key issues which affect Punjab and in many cases candidates of various parties displayed lower level of political class by reports of distributing alcohol to buy votes and using foul language in media interviews.

As mentioned in my previous blog post, the four major parties contesting are run by RSS working to make Sikhs and Punjabis surrender to Ultra-Nationalism intolerant environment, eliminating the minority groups and stealing Punjab’s natural resources.

I am of the thought that Sikhs as the regional minority may suffer one more time. I wonder if Sikhs have fallen to the trap again? Did they had a real choice? Will the election results favour the Sikh issues? These are the questions only time can answer.

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