Congress in Punjab: What lies in store for the party in the state?
Will the Congress leadership now work on an overhaul of the party in Punjab?
The exit polls have left the Congress party wondering in all states that voted recently. This was a poll season that saw the grand old party looking to renew its outlook and fight against arch-rival Bharatiya Janata Party. However, going by the exit poll figures, the returns it would have expected seems to be eluding the Congress party.
The party is waking up to a worrying situation in Punjab. Predictions are that the Congress may not stand a chance to return to power in the state. With the exit polls concluding that it would the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and not the Congress that would see itself forming a government, it is a slap on the face of the leaders who had indulged in infighting at a very crucial time.
Congress party functionaries aren’t a hopeful lot
It is expected that the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP has the chance this time around, with a good number of seats to go its way in the 117-member Punjab Assembly. Though the exit polls are not the last word, the Congress doesn’t seem to be nursing much hope in the results that would come out on March 10.
Leave alone the exit polls, even the Congress party functionaries in Punjab aren’t so hopeful of retaining power in the state. It is being said that even am internal assessment by the party has pointed at a poor result. That takes one to the happenings in the Congress party ahead of the polls. First it was the bad blood between the former Chef Minister Amarinder Singh and the state party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu. Then after Amarinder Singh quit, it was Charanjit Singh Channi’s task to be Chief Minister. Though Sidhu and Channi had shared a good bond, something happened in between leaving the two looking at opposite directions.
That Navjot Sidhu has not been able to keep the party together in the state is a fact. Adding to the worry was the Congress high command’s stance, which led to even veterans calling it quits or staying idle out of being sidelined. The party got a rude shock when the voter turnout too dwindled. The top leaders staying idle even when the infighting had reached unimaginable proportions boomeranged to hurt the party. Anti-incumbency also seems to be playing a role in the expected debacle.
What next for Sidhu and his men?
Though many in the party are close to giving up, Chief Minister Channi is patient enough to wait for the EVMs to be opened. He still believes Punjab will continue to be ruled by the Congress. The problem is that not many among the leadership in the state Congress shares that sentiment.
They are all now gearing up for the blame game. Most probably, the leadership will now wake up to decide on an overhaul of the party in the state. Navjot Sidhu will indeed have a tough time dodging the mud that is thrown on him.