Chandigarh, May 23: The results of the Lok Sabha elections which were announced Thursday have further boosted the confidence of Punjab Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh about his political acumen and farsightedness. Though his party Congress has suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of Bharatiya Janata Party under the charge of dynamic Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Punjab’s Captain Amarinder Singh has been able to prove his conviction of a landslide victory of the party in state.
Congress has made a clean sweep of the 13 seats that Punjab has by electing 8 Parliamentarians of the party. But what is the formula that has worked for Congress in Punjab?
One of the most important factors is the Captain himself. A powerful and well-calculated strategy, whether it was the Prime Minister Narendra Modi or his arch-rival Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal, the Chief Minister decimated them both. No surprise then that Akali-BJP combine got 4 seats, of which there was a close call in two. Congress candidate Raja Amrinder Singh Warring gave a tough fight to sitting MP and wife of Sukhbir Badal, Harsimrat Kaur Badal. Harsimrat was seeking re-election for the third time in a row and has made a hattrick.
In Punjab, local issues like farmers’ distress, lack of basic facilities, drug menace and support for local Congress leaders matter more. People are more concerned about the agrarian responsibility of the state than growing inflation or border security issues. Like one border resident said, his concern was not that a war was on the anvil with Pakistan, but the fact that the rains might be early this time.
Religion is a very important factor in Punjab. Panthic issues and region-specific problems take precedence over many other issues. The sacrilege issue at Bargari in which two youth were killed in police firing played a very important role in the anti-Akali-BJP sentiment. This is exactly what Capt Amarinder Singh played on.
Captain Amarinder Singh’s ace strategy of leading from the front was a repeat formula of the Assembly elections in 2017 and it proved successful in the Lok Sabha elections too. It is believed in the political circles that Capt Amarinder’s next move or plan is impossible to predict even by his party leaders, leave alone the rivals.
A new biography of Capt Amarinder Singh released days before the Punjab election results calls him the ‘People’s Maharaja’. He very well might be. He managed to keep his royal bearings intact even as he came to be known as a pleasant and conversational politician.
His charismatic personality leaves people mesmerized. Amarinder is a man who can make people feel instantly comfortable around him. Because of his class and intellect, he commands respect and admiration. Accused of being aloof and distant, he has tried hard to bridge the gap. At 75 years of age and not in the fittest of health, he has outlived many who preceded him in his royal lineage. Captain chose to go to the grassroots voter/worker to interact personally with them ons with grassroots/voters directly, using the Maharaja royal factor to his advantage.
Such is the respect that people have for Captain that rather than the PM’s rhetoric on Balakot strikes, people were more impressed by Capt’s statement in Assembly on the issue. An ex-Army officer himself, his views and opinions on matters of national security are taken very seriously. This is the reason that Captain has a strong and powerful nationalistic image.
Besides, the achievements of his government over the last two years of his administration has won Capt Amarinder Singh respect of the people, and this turned the numbers in the favour of the party.
And Punjab said Aye aye, Captain !!!!