Ahead of holi, the only colour the People’s Party of Punjab (PPP) can see is a grey monotone, not their trademark yellow. No one was there to hear their “Rang de basanti chola” ring tone.
Using Shaheed Bhagat Singh’s Inqalab slogan in the rough and tumble of politics didn’t help the party as the Sanjha Morcha it led drew a blank in the assembly polls.
To make matters worse, PPP founder Manpreet Singh Badal lost from both Gidderbaha and Maur, while his father Gurdas Badal had to forfeit his security from Lambi. Many other morcha candidates didn’t fare any better.
The Communist Party of India (CPI), which was part of the morcha, lost all the 14 seats it contested. The PPP’s only effect was on the Congress, massively cutting into its vote share.
The party had contested on 92 seats and the CPM on nine. Still, senior CPI leader Dr Joginder Dayal told HT that the party’s alliance with the PPP would continue as a “constructive democratic opposition” in the state.
The PPP’s multimedia campaign had flopped miserably.
Across 115 assembly segments, the PPP and the CPI together got a 6% vote share. The PPP’s own vote share was 5.17 %. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which rejected a tie-up with the PPP, managed a vote share of 4.30%.
Besides Manpreet, only eight PPP candidates managed to finish third: Ranjit Kaur Bhatti (Budhlada, 29,385 votes), Didar Singh Bhatti (Fatehgarh Sahib, 32,065), Bhagwant Mann (Lehra, 26,136), Amardeep Brar (Ropar, 25,042), Jagmeet Singh (Amloh, 25,538), Jeet Singh Chanduraian (Amargarh, 23,347), Gurpreet Bhatti (Khanna, 23,370) and Ran Singh (Dirba, 31,000 votes)."The PPP is committed to contest the 2014 Lok Sabha elections," Manpreet said. The rebel Badal canceled his scheduled media briefing in Badal village, as he drove to Chandigarh to issue the statement.