Malwa: AAP and SAD win in Cong turmoil: the Tribune India
Tribune press service
Patiala, July 9
Whoever wins the “Panthic Malwa belt” forms the government in the Punjab, it is the general belief. The ground support visible in 2017 had given the Aam Aadmi party (AAP) reason to dream of winning an unlikely victory. The party, however, had to settle for just 18 seats out of a total of 69 in the region and only two more elsewhere in the state. But that was enough to get ahead of the SAD-BJP, which won just eight seats. Congress won 40 seats in Malwa alone.
As the 2022 election looms, opposition to power, high electricity prices, broken election promises, farmers’ struggle at Delhi’s borders and widespread corruption are issues challenging the ruling Congress . The “mismanagement” of the 2015 sacrilegious incident investigation tarnished the party’s image, and the SAD and AAP both envision gains.
Protests by teachers, farmers, employees of power companies, the forestry department and water sanitation staff became regular outside the residences of the Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh in Patiala, Minister of Finance Manpreet Singh Badal in Bathinda and Minister of Education and Persons with Disabilities Vijay Singla. in Sangur.
Malwa took special note of the recent outburst by Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu, as he was the first top party leader to publicly criticize the chief minister after the Punjab and Haryana High Court overturned investigation reports submitted by the state government special investigation team. (SIT) in a police dismissal case in the town of Kotkapura in Malwa more than five years ago.
The case dates back to October 14, 2015, under the SAD-BJP regime, when state police opened fire on a crowd in the village of Bargari protesting against acts of sacrilege. Since June 1 of that year, pages of copies of Guru Granth Sahib that had been torn off have been found in various parts of the state. On October 12, when the same thing happened in Bargari, the villagers protested. On October 14, the demonstration had grown so large that the police opened fire, killing two people.
“This is a moving question that has exposed both SAD and Congress. People will vote against them. We are already receiving comments from the Malwa belt that people are still injured, ”said SAD (Democratic) President Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, 84, who recently announced the launch of a new political party – SAD (Sanyukt) – with another former chief of Akali. , Ranjit Singh Brahmpura.
However, SAD President Sukhbir Badal claims that it is his party alone that represents panthic ideology and Sikh beliefs. “We were injured when the incidents took place, but Congress and the AAP in cahoots with their affiliated groups created an atmosphere of unrest and demanded an investigation from the CBI. Now even the investigation ordered by Congress for more than four years has found nothing, ”Sukhbir said. “The main problems are the high price of electricity and its shortage, besides unemployment and the lack of funds for the rural belt of Malwa. We are going to present all of this to the people and let them decide if they still want to vote for Congress. “
Congress remains a divided house in Bathinda, where Amrinder Raja Warring and Finance Minister Manpreet Badal have generally opposed. Allegations have been made by local SAD leaders and some members of Congress regarding the collection of the “goonda tax” near the Guru Gobind Singh refinery at the request of Manpreet’s brother-in-law, Jaijeet Singh Johal, who qualifies the charges of baseless, claiming he’s a soft target. “With the exception of one leader, no member of Congress has made a statement against us. Outside of the constituency, it doesn’t matter if someone says something, ”he said.
The villagers of Bathinda, Muktsar, Abohar, Fazilka, Mansa, Sangrur feel left out and remember the time when the Akalis ensured sufficient funds and development. “The roads are in bad condition, the villages
receive limited funds and the power cuts are back, ”says a political analyst, who has covered the Malwa belt for more than three decades.
“I agree that sacrilege, Bargari and rising electricity prices have harmed our party, not only in Malwa but throughout Punjab. Our party is going through internal turmoil because of this, but I am sure we will do justice with the investigation and the culprits will face the music, ”said Punjab congress leader Sunil Jakhar, originally from the belt. from Malwa. “Another important factor in Malwa politics will be the turmoil around agricultural laws if farmers decide to challenge certain seats. But I sincerely believe that the villages of Punjab over the past four years have experienced major development, ”adds Jakhar.
The AAP, meanwhile, is doing its best to find popular faces and attract young people, who are already asking Congress about jobs and other broken promises.
“People saw prominent faces like Sukhbir or Amarinder and what they did to the state. We need a CM who is available to the state 24 hours a day and AAP is committed to that. We believe in good governance and a government “without goonda”, said opposition leader Harpal Cheema.