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Punjab polls 2017: There are chances of hung assembly in the state
Assembly elections in Punjab will be held on February 4, 2017 and the SAD-BJP alliance is aiming for a hat-trick with its development agenda. However, with the entry of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), the vote bank got divided and there could be a hung assembly with no political party getting majority.

As per the current trends, the state is heading towards a complete change as the common man is not satisfied with the ruling SAD-BJP alliance. Rather than taking care of the common man, emphasis was on projecting leaders. In such a scenario election results could be different and surprising for all this time as people are also fed up with the traditional political parties and have made up their mind to try for a new party.

It looks that for the first time the Sikhs of Akali Dal are shaken. Panthak politics is also being projected in elections but they should not forget that using such tactics is like a sword with sharp edges on both the sides.

At the same time, the elections in Punjab have become more interesting with the support of Dera factor.

In Malwa belt, AAP has more impact over the people because of vote-bank of deras. Earlier, the issues were drugs, deras and dose in the form of reliefs in the form of subsidies, but now the real issues of development and governance have been sidelined and are on back-foot. Whereas, the real issues could only decide the election results and the position is like that political parties are contesting on other issues while voters will vote on some other grounds.

Earlier, the elections had trend of one per cent margin in results but this time the serious, tough and unpredictable triangular contest on almost all the seats will turn the percentage also.

Punjab elections are attached with national interest as to whether Congress will crack its two times defeat or not. For ruling SAD also it is important.

The Congress has only one Punjab window, which could give a new concept for its existence, for 2019 elections.

In such circumstances, we cannot say that Punjab elections will not have any impact on SAD-BJP alliance. It will also be a set-back for Kejriwal of AAP if he loses in Punjab, who has prime ministerial ambitions.

Perhaps, this is for the first time that national political parties have come up with regional agendas with intentions that the people will not accept national parties.

Meanwhile, AAP is also getting good response because of the anti-incumbency factor.

It is an admitted fact that common voters have high expectations from new party despite the fact that there has not been strong anti-incumbency and vote division so far in Punjab.

For the first time, Panthak identity is being cracked up in Punjab and sacrilege cases and issues of disrespect to religion are being tried to be encashed.

AAP is not behind in blaming that Congress and SAD are playing friendly match in spite of the fact that both these parties are accusing AAP.

It is also seen that voters silent as usual, but silent voters are more dangerous and can turn the tables at the eleventh hour. People will definitely think about the old days of terrorism while deciding whom to vote.

There is a fear that since polarisation doesn't build cohesion, inclusiveness, it could affect peace and harmony of the state at the cost of common man.

In such a situation, AAP is getting a good response from vote-bank attached with the Akali Dal for which Congress is also worried.

As to how one could deny that Punjab's peace is not in danger when we see that radical forces, hardliners are at the support the AAP. Even the AAP supremo stayed at the residence of hardliners during his election campaign in Punjab.

AAP too has some limit in its political field because of newly launched party but when it crosses its limit then there is a polarisation and Hindus of Punjab become worried. This is the reason that even PM Modi, both Akali Dal and Congress have raised the issue strongly that introduction and importance of AAP in Punjab is not an good indication for peace and harmony in the state.

So far as regional impact is concerned, when AAP is getting advantage in Malwa region and when it crosses its limit, it is bound to have disadvantage in other regions.

Talking about the reserved votes, dalit vote bank is not collective but scattered, dispersed or helter-skelter. It is fragmented as it doesn't have any political identity but directly or indirectly attached with some party.

In one of the analysis, Jats are dominating on only 11 seats in Punjab, 6 seats where scheduled caste, 3 seats where non-scheduled caste and non-jat or urban Hindu and rest of the 97 constituencies having mixture of all. Social engineering for one community at this stage will be a disadvantage for any political party.

Fourth front parties will not have any crack in these elections as the elections are being contested so closely between the three major political parties - SAD-BJP, Congress and AAP.

Another major factor which could affect its equations is that about 19-20 rebel candidates of other parties are contesting elections on Congress symbol and out of which Congress is taking 8 candidates.

Political analysts are of the view that Punjab elections will be more guided with electoral arithmetic and not with popular vote and results will be different in Malwa and other regions - Majha and Doaba and cannot be predicted as for which party it would work as spoiler.

Presently, when only a day is left the election trend is moving towards hung situation with over-all view and popularity of the political parties in the state.

So far as undertone is concerned, one can't say anything at this stage. However, the contest is between the three parties and coming with strong holds is moving towards a change as the momentum is towards AAP. It is difficult to say as to whether the changed momentum or over-current would work in whole of the state or not. In such a scenario, we can say that chances of a hung assembly are more than majority to any party.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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