Political Dynamics Unfold as AAP Leads Punjab, Opposition Gears Up for 2024 Lok Sabha Elections
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) currently holds power in Punjab, with the Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann at the helm. As the 2024 Lok Sabha elections draw near, political parties such as Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) find themselves in opposition, strategizing to secure victory.
Under Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann's leadership, the AAP government has implemented several initiatives, including the provision of free 300 units of power to domestic consumers, the establishment of new health clinics, strategic changes in the education sector, and the continuation of free travel for females in Punjab Roadways Buses. The party leaders are optimistic that these policies will bolster their vote bank and enhance the prospects of their candidates in the upcoming elections.
In contrast, Congress faces challenges following the recent assembly elections in five states, where they secured victory only in Telangana. The BJP, on the other hand, emerged victorious in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan, indicating a shift in voter sentiment. The need for organizational reshuffling within Congress is evident, as announced social policies failed to sway voters compared to the guarantees put forth by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The BJP in Punjab has undergone a change in leadership, with Sunil Kumar Jakhar taking over from Ashwani Kumar Sharma. The party is emphasizing the active participation of the youth in the upcoming elections. However, concerns persist among older leaders who feel sidelined. The BJP must address these sentiments and recognize the value of experienced leaders, as they play a crucial role in the success of the party.
Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal), with its alliance partner BJP, seeks to regain prominence in Punjab, having previously held power three times under the leadership of late Parkash Singh Badal. The party, now led by Sukhbir Singh Badal, along with his wife Bibi Harsimrat Kaur, MP and Bikram Singh Majithia, is working to unify isolated S.A.D. (B) leaders in the state.
While the Bahujan Samaj Party maintains its own vote bank, its alliance with S.A.D. (B) presents opportunities and challenges, as witnessed in the Jalandhar Parliament by-election.
The dynamics of political loyalty changes remain a common occurrence in a democratic setup, raising the question of whether such shifts will positively impact the political parties involved.
Rajat Kumar Mohindru,
Journalist, Jalandhar City.