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The era of Bhagwant Mann: Winds of change in Punjab, AAP romps home to victory as heavyweights tumble across the board

Back in 2017, during their first Punjab election, Aam Aadmi Party was the overwhelming favourite to win. However, a mix of poor campaigning decisions and over-confidence, and Amarinder Singh's spirited fight saw them squander all their advantage to Congress.

The future’s in the air
Can feel it everywhere
Blowing with the wind of change

These lyrics from the Scorpions’ hit song seem very apt for Punjab today as the state set itself towards a new path by welcoming the new and saying goodbye to the old. While a “relatively” new player in Aam Aadmi Party with Bhagwant Mann as CM face is set to grab more than 3/4th majority, many stalwarts of Punjab elections have fallen by the wayside in these elections.

Back in 2017, during their first Punjab election, Aam Aadmi Party was the overwhelming favourite to win. However, a mix of poor campaigning decisions and over-confidence, and Amarinder Singh’s spirited fight saw them squander all their advantage to Congress. None of that was visible this time as it was their main opponent, Congress, which kept shooting itself in the foot ahead of the elections leaving the door open for AAP to claim a historic win.

In the AAP wave that swept through Punjab this time, all the long-standing heavyweights of Punjab politics got swept off their feet. While sitting CM Charanjit Singh Channi lost from both the seats he contested, a similar fate awaited state Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu. Punjab politics has been dominated for decades by the Badal family, however, this time, the patriarch of the Badal family Prakash Singh Badal, his son Sukhbir Singh Badal and Sukhbir’s brother-in-law Bikram Singh Majithia, all tasted humbling defeats in front of the AAP juggernaut.

Just like the Badals, Captain Amarinder Singh has been an imposing figure in Punjab politics for a long time. He even gave a beleaguered Congress some hope in 2017 when he led the party to a comfortable win in Punjab. However, this time, having been discarded by Congress, and fighting on his new party’s symbol, Captain Amarinder Singh lost in his home of Patiala. The “Patiala ka Raja” losing in Patiala has been one of the biggest shocks of these assembly elections.

One thing these results have decisively shown is that people of Punjab were really tired of the Akalis-Congress cycle, and really wanted to give someone else a chance.

Now with an overwhelming majority, Bhagwant Mann has full freedom to run the state the way he seems fit. The result has also come as a shot in the arm for AAP’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal as he looks to replace Congress as BJP’s main opponent in Northern India. As for the state of Punjab, these are interesting times as we wait and see how does a Non-Akali, Non-Congress government govern the state.

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OpIndia Staff
OpIndia Staffhttps://www.opindia.com
Staff reporter at OpIndia

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