Congress Ahead In Punjab

  • India Today-Axis Opinion Poll Gives Ruling Alliance 3rd Place

New Delhi: Congress Party appears to be leading in Punjab where the Assembly elections are due early next year. India Today-Axis Opinion Poll survey concludes that Aam Admi Party led by Arvind Kejriwal would end up a close second relegating the ruling combine, Akali Dal-BJP to a poor third position.

According to the poll, the Congress is likely to bag 49-55 seats and emerge as the largest single party in the House with 117 seats with the AAP getting 42-46 seats and Akali Dal-BJP alliance 17-21 seats. In terms of vote percentage the Congress is most likely to get 33 percent and the AAP 30 percent. If the ongoing talks with Navjot Sidhu, famed cricketer and parliamentarian who recently resigned from the BJP and the Rajya Sabha seat succeed and his organization, Awaz-e-Punjab, merges with the Congress, the national party might get nearly sixty seats exceeding the magic figure of 59 to gain a simple majority. The ruling alliance is in a very bad shape what with the allegations of drug pedaling and corruption. Smaller parties may bag 3-7 seats according to the survey.

The survey shows that as many as one third of the voters (33 percent) would like to see Captain Amarinder Singh to become chief minister once again. He was chief minister of Punjab during 2002-07. The incumbent Prakash Singh Badal of Shiromani Akali Dal is favoured only by 25 percent to retain his seat. While 29 percent of the respondents are satisfied with the performance of Badal, a huge 58 percent of the voters are utterly unhappy with him. Prakash Singh Badal’s son Sukhbinder Singh Badal, who is presently deputy chief minister, was perceived him as future chief minister only by three percent of the respondents. Kejriwal who reportedly expressed his preference to move from Delhi to Punjab if his party is voted to power was preferred to be their chief minister by 16 percent of the respondents.

Udtha Punjab, a recent release was made based on real life stories of the peddlers in drugs and their victims. The agriculture production has been declining where the unemployment is on the rise. 76 percent of the respondent made it clear that drug is going to be the major issue in the next elections. Almost 80 percent of the people who were questioned said the politicians are responsible for the drug menace. Four percent, a negligible minority, of the respondents have found wrong with the government. The media was blamed by one percent of the respondents for exaggerating the issue. 35 percent of the respondents made it clear that the major election issue is unemployment. More development was asked by about 15 percent of the respondents.

AAM is popular in Punjab. It was given four MPs in 2014 general elections from Punjab. The party had mounted an aggressive campaign in this state. 36 percent of the respondents said they were satisfied by the quality of the services that the Delhi government renders. 46 percent of the respondents said that they were not satisfied while 46 percent of the respondents said they are not very happy with the State government. 18 percent were non-committal.

AAP has a lot of problems in Punjab where Arvind Kejriwal was very popular at the outset. But the way he was administering Delhi has dented his reputation.  There is a strong anti-incumbency sentiment in the State.

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