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Rift within Congress and AAP will benefit Akali Dal-BJP coalition
With the assembly elections coming nearer, political equations are changing day by day. Although it happens ahead of every election, but in Punjab the situation is very uncharacteristic.

In fact, people are not satisfied with the ruling government in the state with charges of giving support to drug smuggling and extending benefits to corporate companies, corruption and above all, over introducing of their whole dynasty into politics.

As of now, it is being speculated that the Akali Dal will not come to power to register a hat-trick. The Congress is thinking of encashing on the situation and has already started day-dreaming.

But the people have not forgotten the irregularities in the Central government during the Congress rule and in such circumstances, the Aam Aadmi Party has started decorating its platform.

Some people are of the view that a change is necessary. And, it  is said that change is the spice of life. People of Punjab want to try AAP instead of Congress, BJP and Akali Dal.  

Speculations amongst political circles started when Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from the Lok Sabha. Rumours were abuzz that he might join AAP, but he has still not revealed his cards.

Congress leader, Captain Amarinder Singh has already extended an open invitation to Sidhu and welcomed him into the party.

During all these happenings, burglary has started on the votes of AAP with the announcement of formation of a joint front by Dharamvir Gandhi, MP of Aam Aadmi Party along with certain leaders and supporters which looks to be a positive sign for Punjab, especially when it has the support of Yogendra Yadav of Democratic Swaraj Party.

Now, the question arises, Dharamvir Gandhi is being labeled as a rebellious leader and has been continuously criticizing the working of Arvind Kejriwal and had also organized a rally few months back.

No doubt, the image of Gandhi is clean and the voters have faith in him.  Likewise, Yogendra Yadav too has opened up a front against AAP and decided to launch nationwide Swaraj Abhiyan, after he was shunted out of the party.  

He too has formed a separate party.  In case, the leaders with clean record agree to share one platform, they can create problems not only for the Congress and Akali Dal-BJP, but also for AAP.

During the upcoming assembly elections, the main issues for contesting will be corruption and drugs, but only the previous working of the parties in these fields will do the magic.

There has been continuous pointing of fingers on Arvind Kejriwal and about his working and problems for him are natural, when two of his senior leaders have come forward to give a tough challenge by forming separate morcha.

Bhartiya Janata Party having an alliance with the Akali Dal has not yet revealed any of its card. Keeping in view the performance in the last elections, BJP can think of contesting the elections independently by announcing at the eleventh hour.

But, it will not be an easy task in Punjab. According to the present indications of political pundits, there seems to be no breakage in alliance of Akali Dal and the BJP.

And despite opposition, there are chances of formation of an Akali-BJP government in the next assembly elections, as both these parties have a majority to form the government.

Even if 50 per cent is opposition, the opposition too will divide in two factions and Akali-BJP will easily form the government.

Frankly speaking, with the statement of Deputy Chief Minister, Sukhbir Singh Badal that 99 per cent of halqa in-incharges will get SAD tickets  - which I had quoted earlier as chhotta MLAs – it looks that Sukhbir Singh Badal has a pro-term strategy in his mind, which both Congress and AAP lack while appointing the halqa incharges so that they may build-up their influence among the people of the area till the next assembly elections.  

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) will not feel sad if this line of attack works in the right perspective.

In the statement, it has also been made clear that Akali Dal, which is yet to name its nominees, already knows about their candidates and there is no secret in it.  He has rather made it further clear that there will be a formal announcement too, if needed.  Perhaps there is an indication behind his statement that almost all the halqa in-charges will get SAD tickets.

On the other hand, the high-flying Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the race in Punjab has been exposed with the controversy over the announcement of its two lists naming 19 and 13 candidates.

Moreover, Suchha Singh Chhotepur, Punjab AAP Convenor has been hit by a sting operation that shows him accepting money from a supporter of the party. There is also an audio clip that has him saying that the party's Sangrur MP, Bhagwant Mann, has a drinking problem, who had become vocal in conveying his displeasures over the choice of candidates.

Chhotepur – who has not been sidelined for not consulting him while releasing the two lists, has not disputed over the legitimacy of the incident, but said that the contents did not prove any wrong doing by him.

But, it has definitely raised a number of questions over collection of funds in cash. It is an admitted fact that collecting funds for the party is the duty of the leaders and without sufficient funds, elections now a days cannot be contested.  

Generally, the entire expenditure on organizing seminars, rallies, congregations and entertaining the state and national level leaders is borne by the local supporters.

Anyhow, this incident has irritated the Punjab AAP Convener and suffered a blow due to the hullabaloo, that has threatened to expose leaders to bring out the truth.

Arvind Kejriwal – AAP supremo – is mum over the issue and is giving the impression of being to be under pressure from a particular section in the party and ignoring the ground realities.

Congress is scrutinizing the 1600 odd applications invited for 117 seats. With the arrangement on hosting lunch for the Captain at Qadian, the relations between the two erstwhile rivals seem to have improved, perhaps due to the intervention of the newly appointed Punjab Congress incharge Asha Kumar, who might have played a key role in bringing the Captain and Bajwa close ahead of the assembly elections.   

If such gatherings become frequent in the coming days to make up the new approach for the coming elections, Congress is likely to get benefit from the controversy cropped up in AAP over the sting operation issue.

The most surprising factor is that the sworn-alliance party – Bhartiya Janata Party – BJP, is still silent over the issue of contesting the election and fielding the number of candidates during the Assembly elections due in 2017.

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 In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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