February 16, 2022, 0 Comments
In Punjab, a change vote is being held, and the AAP is the only candidate
In a democracy, if voting is a means for affecting change, it may also evolve into muscle memory. That is also the choice and conflict in Punjab, where a hardened two-party system is being challenged by a new entrant — the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) turned it into a three-cornered contest in 2017 — and where additional players, including sections of a spectacularly successful farmers’ movement, swarm the fray.
Memory versus Change Habit vs. Adaptation
In the nation of the long-stalled Green Revolution — a state that has undergone a dramatic decline after a time of immense affluence — both “change” and “memory” are multidimensional ideas. Change, in particular, instils a great deal of scepticism and distrust in Punjab. In Election 2022, however, there is only one claimant and one prospective beneficiary.
In 2017, the Congress, led by a larger-than-life Captain Amarinder Singh, won the majority of votes against the Shiromani Akali Dal’s two-term rule, with the AAP trailing well behind. Despite a very prominent campaign, the AAP had to settle for just 20 seats in a House of 117 at the time.
In Punjab, the Farmers’ Morcha’s electoral debut is a non-starter, therefore incumbents will confront AAP.
Amarinder Singh, who served as Chief Minister till three months ago, is widely regarded as having squandered his “saade char saal (four and a half years)” in government. Charanjit Singh Channi’s 111-day stint is also being evaluated, but less harshly and favourably in certain areas.
Despite being out of government for five years, Sukhbir Badal’s party is viewed as a protector of the old system, even by supporters. Non-AAP parties are referred to as “sattar saal (70 years)” in opposition to the AAP.
Travel over Punjab in the days leading up to the elections and you’ll see both the longing for change and the barriers. It seems that only the AAP, which is armed with the “Delhi model,” is on the rise despite its constraints. The Congress and SAD will win a triangular struggle by holding to what they have.
Malwa’s call for change is comprised of a slew of interrelated challenges. For one thing, the school that shutters due to the pandemic, and even when it is open, serves as a stopover for children migrating to other nations.
“Theke khulle hain, school band hain,” says Gurmail Singh, a farmer from Channi’s Bhadaur constituency’s Dhaula village. He used to be a supporter of Congress, but not any more. “Jo padh gaye, o baharle….” (the kids who studied, went abroad). buddha kalle (the old are left here alone). Who will do our last rites?
Arshdeep Kaur, a young housewife in Ravidassi (SC) mohalla in Balad Kalan, is depressed: “I have a three-year-old who should be in school… He will join the ranks of the idle and jobless young men in our mohalla. There are no chances. Those who live in the community should remain there.”
The current Punjabi drug pandemic is “Chitta,” the well-known synthetic drug mixture. “Buying sugar takes time; acquiring chitta is faster,” a SAD voter from Ferozepur’s Mudki Kasba complains. It stemmed from SAD. Capt. Congress vowed to demolish it but did not follow through.” According to project director Mohan Sharma, the number of patients at a Sangrur town deaddiction clinic increased from 3 to 6-10 every day between 2005 and 2021.
However, even in Malwa, particularly in Majha and Doaba, change remains restrained. Many people note out how many AAP voters got a ticket after failing to get one in Congress or SAD. Following 2017, the AAP lost 11 MLAs and three MPs. The party looks to have plundered from others while failing to protect its own.