AAP sets remarkable win in Punjab


Punjab’s political landscape changed beyond recognition on Thursday as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) swept to power in the border state with an unprecedented mandate, decimating the entire spectrum of rivals including the ruling Congress while notching up its first full-state state beyond Delhi. Less than eight years after its electoral debut in Punjab, AAP romped home on 90 of 117 assembly seats up for grabs, a resoundingly absolute majority no other single party has scored in the state’s electoral history since 1966. The closest mandate that Punjab witnessed was in 1997 when SAD-BJP coalition got 93 seats.

In its historic win, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party smashed Punjab’s long-entrenched bipolar polity lorded over by the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) which have ruled the state almost alternatively for last six decades.

Both the legacy parties suffered their worst-ever rout in the very second assembly poll outing of their resurgent rival which, in 2017, had lost to the Congress emerged as the principal opposition party ahead of SAD. AAP’s spectacular show set the stage for elevation of comedian-turned-politician Bhagwant Mann,48, as chief minister, the youngest since Parkash Singh Badal in 1970. Two-time Lok Sabha MP from Sangrur will be the first non-Congress and non-Akali to hold the top job.

So staggering and stunning was the scale of AAP’s electoral rampage that several top guns of opposition suffered their worst defeats of their political careers.

They include the sitting Congress chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, five-time CM and Akali veteran Parkash Singh Badal, two-time CM Capt Amarinder Singh, former CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and state Congress chief Navjot Sidhu had to bite the dust : strikingly, all at the hands of first-time AAP contestants.

The AAP juggernaut roared unstoppably across all three regions: Malwa ( with 69 seats), Doaba (25) and Majha (27).

(Except for the headline and the pictorial description, this story has not been edited by THE DEN staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)