Broom makes clean sweep in Punjab

Updated on Mar 10, 2022 04:01 PM IST

In its historic win, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party smashed Punjab’s long-entrenched bipolar polity lorded over by the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) which have ruled the state almost alternatively for last six decades.

AAP supporters celebrating their historic win in Punjab, at Mohali on Thursday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
AAP supporters celebrating their historic win in Punjab, at Mohali on Thursday. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
By, Chandigarh

Punjab’s political landscape changed beyond recognition on Thursday as the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) swept to power in the border state with an unprecedented mandate, decimating the entire spectrum of rivals including the ruling Congress while notching up its first full state beyond Delhi.

Less than eight years after its electoral debut in Punjab, AAP romped home on 90 of 117 assembly seats up for grabs, a resoundingly absolute majority no other single party has scored in the state’s electoral history since 1966. The closest mandate that Punjab witnessed was in 1997 when SAD-BJP coalition got 93 seats.

Full coverage of Punjab assembly election results 2022

In its historic win, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party smashed Punjab’s long-entrenched bipolar polity lorded over by the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) which have ruled the state almost alternatively for last six decades.

Both the legacy parties suffered their worst-ever rout in the very second assembly poll outing of their resurgent rival which, in 2017, had lost to the Congress emerged as the principal opposition party ahead of SAD.

AAP’s spectacular show set the stage for elevation of comedian-turned-politician Bhagwant Mann,48, as chief minister, the youngest since Parkash Singh Badal in 1970. Two-time Lok Sabha MP from Sangrur will be the first non-Congress and non-Akali to hold the top job.

So staggering and stunning was the scale of AAP’s electoral rampage that several top guns of opposition suffered their worst defeats of their political careers.

They include the sitting Congress chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi, five-time CM and Akali veteran Parkash Singh Badal, two-time CM Capt Amarinder Singh, former CM Rajinder Kaur Bhattal and state Congress chief Navjot Sidhu had to bite the dust : strikingly, all at the hands of first-time AAP contestants.

The AAP juggernaut roared unstoppably across all three regions: Malwa ( with 69 seats), Doaba (25) and Majha (27).

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    A journalist of over 35 years standing, Ramesh Vinayak is Executive Editor of Hindustan Times at Chandigarh He specialises in covering the north Indian territory of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, besides the Punjabi diaspora.

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