Punjab Election 2017 : Stay relaxed till March 11

After five years of hectic schedule by the opposition political parties leaders and workers were looking relaxed and were out from the social media from 5th February by conveying their thanks to the voters and reviewing with the workers to have view about their performance before the announcement of final result.

40 days is quite a long period to wait for the result of the elections in Punjab but at the same time it’s time for the leaders to relax after the hectic scheduled for a long five years for the ruling party and ten years for the opposition parties.

This time, social media – which was more hi-tech with availability of Apps like Facebook and WhatsApp, played a major role to update the voters in the state and create awareness, not only to exercise their franchise to vote.

The Election Commission, government officials and Security Agencies have done a commendable job for conducting of elections in a free-fair and transparent manner barring few incidents of violence without any loss of life.

Keeping aside what would be the outcome of 1145 candidates in 117 constituencies with 34 reserved, in fray in Punjab Assembly Polls 2017 by 1,98,79,069 general and 1,50,547 service voters, which has been locked in the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) on February 4, it would be difficult to say number of seats will be won by the particular party being ban on the exit polls as the elections are going to be held in other states till March 10, the contestants as well as voters who are more conscious to know the results have to keep patience till March 11.

Punjab has recorded 78.6 per cent polling, in 117 Assembly constituencies – 69  seats in Malwa, 25 in Majha and 23 in Doaba, which turned out to be below expectations of the Election Commission which had targeted 85 per cent voting which is less than during 2012 assembly polls, Punjab had witnessed 78.57 per cent polling.  The total numbers of candidates in the fray were 1,145, including 81 female and one transgender.

All the three major political parties contested in the state – SAD-BJP – the ruling party, Congress and AAP are claiming to form the government with majority.  Earlier, it has one-to-one contest but this time it is for the first time in the history of triangular contest almost at all the seats in the state.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) fielded candidates in 94 seats while its ally BJP nominated candidates in the remaining 23 seats. Congress contested alone on all seats.

AAP, which is contesting Punjab polls for the first time, fielded candidates in 112 seats, while its ally Lok Insaaf Party, led by Ludhiana-based Bains brothers, fielded nominees in five seats.

Other political outfits in the fray include BSP, former AAP leader Sucha Singh Chhotepur-led Apna Punjab Party, the Left comprising CPI and CPI-M, and SAD-Amritsar.

It looks that in view of announcement of demonetization well before the elections, and two-terms of SAD-BJP anti-incumbency move, it is going to be a ‘political litmus test’ for the Prime Minister Narendra Modi especially with the entry of AAP in Punjab after getting majority in Delhi.

Primarily, because of the party's decision to give the reins to Captain Amarinder Singh, who is widely respected among Sikh voters. The induction of Navjot Singh Sidhu in the Congress strengthened it further, especially in areas around Amritsar, from where the former cricketer is contesting. 

Frankly speaking, the contest would have been more interesting and favourable for the political parties, had the Congress and BJP announced its candidates well in advance.

In fact, every voter is reacting to just two D’s  issues — drugs for youths, and domination by  associates of ruling party  which has changed their mind-set for a change in politics with Congress and AAP.  Choice was of voters.

Mostly in triangular contest, the benefit of votes goes to all the three parties with gain to one and loss to the other which could  be a half –baked cake in the form of  Khichdi Sarkar on March 11 which could be more dangerous for the development of Punjab while selecting the Chief Minister – an outsider in case the AAP gets majority over Congress which will have a direct impact on the next Lok Sabha elections due in 2019.

Stay relaxed till March 11.

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