Punjab Election Results 2022: AAP mops up historic win, trounces all top rivals

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Thursday, March 10, 2022, 07:00 PM IST
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Punjab Election Results 2022: AAP mops up historic win, trounces all top rivals | Photo: Twitter Image

Chandigarh: Call it the spill-over of the voters’ pent-up fatigue against all the traditional political parties or their leaders, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) - which was hitherto being seen as a fledging party – Thursday made a clean sweep in Punjab by winning 92 of the total 117 seats and trouncing all the top leaders of the rival parties.

The March 10 verdict showed how the AAP put up a formidable social coalition by reaching out to disparate groups - Sikh Jat, Dalit, urban, rural, trading community voters pan Punjab – across the Malwa, Doaba and Majha regions.

The 71.95% turnout on February 20 – the lowest in the past 15 years - had left an ample space for the forecasts of hung House. The AAP which had won 20 seats -18 of them in Malwa, nil in Doaba and two in Majha - in its debut assembly poll in 2017 had also seen desertions by about half of its MLAs over "too much of control from Delhi’’.

Back home, the biggest surprise of all, however, is how the AAP first-timers defeated all the top leaders and chief ministerial candidates of the rival parties. Only CM face which came out with flying colours was AAP’s Bhagwant Mann.

Congress’ CM face Charanjit Singh Channi lost both his seats. Labh Singh Ugoke of AAP, who runs a small mobile repair shop and campaigned on his motorcycle trounced Channi in Bhadaur while Dr Charanjit Singh of AAP beat Channi in Chamkaur Sahib seat.

The Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and SAD firebrand leader Bikram Singh Majithia were defeated by AAP’s first-timer Jeevan Jyot Kaur in Amritsar (east) seat, a known social worker. In a shocking surprise, the AAP’s Ajit Pal Singh Kohli in his maiden assembly poll, defeated two-time CM Capt Amarinder Singh in latter’s home turf Patiala and Sr Badal was given a drubbing by AAP first-timer Gurmeet Singh Khudian, who was a former local Congress leader, in Lambi.

Even SAD chief and former deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal was beaten by AAP’s Jagdeep Kamboj, in Jalalabad constituency. Even five-time MLA and Sr Badal’s nephew Manpreet Badal lost to AAP’s first-timer Jagroop Singh Gill, a former Congress leader. The Congress’ deputy CM O P Soni, also a five-time MLA was defeated by AAP’s first-timer Ajay Gupta in Amritsar central.

The AAP victory which has potential to significantly heighten the party's stature across the country is despite lurid attempts of all the rivals to call AAP national convenor and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal an "outsider attempting to fool Punjabis with his fake claims of Delhi model of good schools and hospitals and better power and water supplies’’.

He also faced serious charges of being soft towards Sikh radicals against which the rivals had gone after AAP in unison. And the historic win is also despite AAP’s limited organisational setup on the ground in Punjab.

The AAP campaign led by Kejriwal and with its slogan “Ik Mauka AAP Nu” (give a chance to AAP) resonated in Malwa (69 of the total 117 seats), and parts of Majha (25) and Doaba (23) regions since the day one this election.

However, the political scientists including Prof Pramod Kumar, Director, Institute for Development and Communication, Chandigarh, says that the people of Punjab have vehemently preferred AAP as it had no historical baggage and it gave them a hope of change that the Punjabi lapped up rejecting the false promises of others.

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