“Dil ke armaan ansuon mein beh gaye”, “Humara jhadoo kharab ho gya, naya layenge” and “Ab hum jaa rahe kahin door” — these were some of the quotes echoing at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) office at Sector 16 here, as the trends of the counting for Punjab assembly polls emerged.
The AAP office was brimming with activity in the morning as party workers and volunteers gathered in anticipation of a resounding mandate in Punjab. Tea and pakoras were being served and many had come with laddoos. Everyone was glued to the TV sets watching the trends. Others were outside in the park holding discussions and giving bytes to TV channels.
Confident of AAP victory, party’s popular face Bhagwant Mann even recorded a video message in the morning, saying Saturday was slated to be a “historical day” for Punjab!
Initially, it seemed AAP was neck and neck with the Congress, but as the day progressed the margin started getting wider. Party’s state incharge Sanjay Singh, who was on way to Chandigarh, also issued a video message ‘congratulating’ party workers for the “victory”!
Tension started showing up on the faces of party workers, majority of them youngsters, as AAP’s numbers started trickling down.
HOPING FOR HUNG ASSEMBLY
However, party’s Chhatra Yuva Sangharsh Samiti state president Parminder Singh Jaswal said, “We will get more seats than what is being reflected in the trends and Punjab will get a hung assembly.”
But as the day progressed, the picture got clear and by about 1 pm, everyone started moving out. The room was left vacant with empty chairs and TV sets on showing poll results.
Party workers then started analysing the results, exploring the resons behind the poor show of the party. One of them said the failure to announce the name of CM candidate resulted in the party’s defeat.
AAP human rights wing state convener Navkiran Singh said a genuine effort was made by the party to bring a revolution in Punjab to ensure administration, corruption-free society and end of drug mafia. “May be the party could not win the confidence of people of Punjab,” he added.
Talking to the media later, Sanjay Singh said, “The party accepts the verdict and will analyse the reasons for its defeat. We will play an active role in the opposition.”
SAD OFFICE DESERTED
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) headquarters in Chandigarh wore a deserted look throughout the day with not a single leader walking into the party office. In the morning, around 50 cops had gathered ouside the office anticipating big crowds at the expected party meeting there. Within an hour, the cops kept the batons and shields aside and started watching the poll results on a TV set in the office.