The Punjab Assembly Elections are expected to be held in the month of February-March 2022.
Compared to other political parties BJP’s stronghold in northern India is getting stronger except Punjab where its former ally Shiromani Akali Dal has quit the NDA over the controversial farm laws.
Some experts believe that the BJP is seeking to build a social coalition of the Dalits, OBCs, and urban Hindus to challenge established players in State politics.
The BJP has more support in urban Punjab and is looking to keep them in its kitty in the upcoming polls. As per the report, the party has identified 45 seats where around 60 percent of the population is Hindu. Out of these, 23 seats are those were BJP used to contest as an alliance partner with the SAD for over 25 years.
To gain votes from the Dalit community, the party picked Vijay Sampla, its Ravidasia face, from the Dalit-dominated Doaba region, and appointed him chairman of the National Commission for Scheduled Castes with the rank of Union minister.
The BJP has made Gajendra Singh Shekhawat its election in-charge of Punjab. He will be assisted by three co-in-charges: Union minister for urban and housing affairs Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State for external affairs Meenakshi Lekhi, who is a Punjabi-speaking leader; and Home Minister Amit Shah’s confidant and Lok Sabha MP Vinodbhai Chavda.
Shekhawat is directing Punjab affairs for the last two years and was general secretary of the farmers’ wing before he became a minister. In addition, the BJP expects Shekhawat’s connection with farmers’ unions in the State to help at a time when a section of the community is unhappy with the Centre’s farm laws.
Currently, Punjab is ruled by the Congress, which is in great disturbance after Amarinder Singh was removed as Chief Minister and party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu resigned from his post ahead of the upcoming assembly Polls.
The ABPC voter survey has predicted a hung assembly in the state with the Aam Aadmi Party expected to emerge as the single largest party. According to the survey, the AAP might bag 51 to 57 seats on its own. Out of 117-seat, the halfway mark is 59. The Congress, which won 77 seats in the 2017 assembly polls, is expected to win about 38-46 seats. While the Shiromani Akali Dal will be limited to about 16-24 seats and BJP might not get any seats.
As per the survey, 21.6 percent of people wish to see Arvind Kejriwal as the next Chief Minister. Former CM of Punjab Sukhbir Badal at 18.8 percent, Captain Amarinder Singh at 17.9 percent, AAP MP Bhagwant Mann at 16.1 percent, and Navjot Singh Sidhu at 15.3 percent.
With the assembly polls less than five months away, the survey shows that the AAP may hit Congress’ in the state of Punjab which is one of the few states where the Grand Old Party is in power.
Punjab Assembly Elections: Some Facts
The 3 major contenders in this election are:-
1)The ruling Congress Party is determined to maintain power in the state after the party’s failure to win a single state in the recent Assembly Elections in the month of May. The party to decrease the massive anti0incumbency against it forced the ex-CM Captain Amarinder Singh to resign after he lost popularity with the people and his party’s MLAs who lost their confidence in his ability to retain power due to his failure to complete his poll promises.
The party appointed Charanjeet Singh Channi as the CM of Punjab. He is the first Dalit CM of the state and the only incumbent Dalit CM throughout India.
The party may have got rid of some of the negative baggage by replacing the CM but has been unable to get rid of the infighting between its various factions which still continues. Add to that Amarinder Singh infuriated at being forced to resign has left the Congress and may set up his own party to contest in the elections.
2)The Shiromani Akali Dal which under Sukhbir Singh Badal is raring to return to power and has tied up with the BSP to achieve this. Another defeat for the SAD may signal the end of the Badal Family in politics
3)The Aam Aadmi Party sees an opening due to the massive anger and frustration against all major parties and leaders in Punjab and thus a chance to win power. The party has already promised a Sikh CM, but will it be able to unite and defeat the Congress?
Punjab Assembly Elections 2022 Opinion Polls: Latest Updates
On Sunday around 2.14 crore, voters decided the fate of 1304 candidates contesting for Punjab assembly seats. Congress party and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are the major rivals in the contest.
Punjab chief minister Charanjit Singh Channi cast his vote in Kharar. He is contesting from Chamkaur Sahib and Bhadaur constituencies. AAP CM candidate and Lok Sabha member Bhagwant Mann cast his vote in Mohali.
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal along with his father and former CM Parkash Singh Badal cast votes at Muktsar. Former Union Minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal also voted from Muktsar.
Meanwhile, former CM Captain Amarinder Singh, who formed his own party, is fighting for his relevance in Punjab politics. The voting for the single-phase poll in Punjab started at 8 am and ended at 6 pm. The total voter turnout was recorded at 70.2% in Punjab.
Punjab Assembly elections to be held on 20th February. A total of 117 assembly constituencies in Punjab will be voting for the polls to elect the respective candidates. The schedule for the Punjab Assembly Election, 2022 is mentioned below with dates for the polls and counting of votes, as listed in the Election Commission of India notification:
The voting in the state of Punjab will take place in just one phase on February 14. The counting of votes will happen on March 10, 2022.
Punjab Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: Google Trends
Punjab Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: Latest News
Punjab Assembly Election 2022 Opinion polls: Latest videos
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Punjab Assembly Election 2022 Opinion Polls: Latest Polls
Opinion Polls Average
Overall Opinion Poll Summary – Vote Share
The survey was conducted between 11th July and 13th August.
The Aam Aadmi Party is expected to win enough seats to form the government on its own
As per the observations of the agency
- There is still a lot of anger and disgust against the Akali Dal and Sukhbir Singh Badal leftover from 2017.
- Due to this, the SAD is unable to take advantage of the massive anti-incumbency against the Captain Amarinder Singh government.
- Cong is shrinking its ground very rapidly in East Malwa and Doaba regions of Punjab
- The farmer agitations are playing a big role in hurting the BJP and the INC and AAP is reaping the benefits of this anger
Caste and Religious Composition of Punjab
As per the 2011 Census, Sikhs are the largest community in Punjab with Hindus forming the second largest .
Proportion of Population
Caste Composition of Punjab.
As the figures of the 2011 Socio-Economic caste census haven’t been released, the below figures are only rough estimations,
there are many Sikhs who come under the OBC and SC categories
General Category/Upper Castes:- 31-36%:-
Jat Sikhs – 19-21%
Hindu UCs( Brahmins,Baniyas,Khatris ,Rajputs)- 10-14%
There are many OBC castes in Punjab:-
Sainis, Sikh Rajputs,Gujjar, Arain,Lohar, Ramgarhia ,
Kambhoj Sikhs , Kumhar/Prajapatis , Teli , Sunar etc
10-12% of the population are Mazhabi Sikhs
Ramdasias/Jatavs/Chamars/Adi-Dharmi Sikhs are around 12-13%
Valmikis/Bhangis comprise 3% of the population
Religious Minorities – 3.8%
The most powerful community in Punjab is the land-owning Jat Sikh community which punches above its weight in the state. The UC Hindus community is more prominent in the urban areas/constituencies of the state.
A large number of OBC castes is one reason why there is no unity among OBCs in the state.
Punjab has the highest percentage of Dalits compared to every other state in India, but they aren’t politically or economically powerful and don’t politically match up to their numbers.
Across India, Dalits comprise 15% of the population and their landholdings amount to 8.5% of the total all over India. But in Punjab, despite being one-third of the state’s population, the landholding among them is not more than 3.5%.
There are also claims by many Sikh and Hindu organizations that many disempowered and poor Hindu/Sikh Dalits facing discrimination have converted to Christianity, but identify themselves as Hindu/Sikh to receive the benefits of reservation from the state and central government.
Punjab Assembly Election 2022: Result of 2017 Assembly Election
The result of the election was on the expected lines. Indian National Congress swept the election while ruling SAD-BJP faced a crushing defeat. Of 117 seats, the Congress won 77 seats, Shiromani Akali Dal won 15 seats and Bhartiya Janta Party could win only 3 seats. The Aam Aadmi Party won less than it was expected to, it won 22 seats on debut in the Punjab Assembly.
Capt Amrinder Singh who was then the Member of Parliament from Amritsar was projected as the CM candidate of Punjab by Congress.
What did the Opinion Polls Predict before the 2017 Assembly Election?
The Opinion Polls for the Punjab Assembly election 2017 were off the mark. Most of the Opinion Polls predicted the Aam Aadmi party to emerge as the winner while some predicted hung assembly and very few predicted victory for Congress.
On January 2017, TV 24 news predicted Aam Aadmi party to win 75 seats, Congress to win 31 seats, SAD + BJP to win 22 seats.
In January 2017, Aajtak – Axis predicted Congress to win 63 seats, the Aam Aadmi party to win 43 seats, SAD + BJP to win 13 seats.
In January 2017, ABP News – CSDS predicted the Hung assembly and gave 51 seats to Congress, the Aam Aadmi party to win 30 seats, SAD + BJP to win 32 seats.
In January 2017, Huff Post – C Voter predicted Congress to win 43 seats, Aam Aadmi Party to win 63 seats, SAD + BJP to win 11 seats.
However, almost all the opinion polls failed to gauge the mood of Punjab. None had predicted Congress to win over 70 seats and Aam Aadmi Party to fall below 40 seats.
Punjab Assembly Election 2022: What did the Exit Polls Predict for the 2017 Assembly Election
The Punjab Election 2017 proved to be a total miscalculated stint for all the Exit Polls. The Exit poll firms were heavily divided. Some predicted a win for AAP while some gave fragmented results. Only a few gave a majority to Indian National Congress.
Today’s Chanakya predicted a hung assembly, while C-Voter predicted Aam Aadmi Party to form government in Punjab.
However, India Today-Axis predicted a win for Congress but were very off the mark in terms of seat projection for AAP. Here is what Exit Polls for the Punjab Assembly election 2017 had projected:
54 ± 9
54 ± 9
9 ± 5
Punjab Assembly Election 2022: What Happened in Lok Sabha Election 2019?
Punjab had total 13 Lok Sabha seats and it was expected BJP-SAD would be completely washed out while AAP would manage to win few seats in state. However, the result was not as per the expected lines once again.
Out of 13 seats Congress won 8 seats with 40.12% vote share. Shiromani Akali Dal which fought in an alliance with BJP won 2 seats with 27.45 % vote share and BJP too managed to win 2 seats with 9.63 % vote share. Aam Aadmi Party had won 4 seats in 2014 Lok Sabha election but in 2019 the party was restricted to only 1 seat with 7.38% vote share.
In terms of Assembly segments, Congress was ahead in 69 segments, SAD in 23 segments, BJP in 12 segments, and Aam Aadmi Party in just 7 segments.
Punjab Assembly Election 2022: What Changed since Lok Sabha 2019 in Punjab?
Since the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the biggest political change in Punjab has been end of the political marriage of BJP and Shiromani Akali Dal. SAD decided to walk out of the alliance in the wake of the Farm Bill. After that in Punjab Municipal Corporation, election was held. Ruling Congress swept the election. It won 90% of the seats while BJP and Aam Aadmi Party were crushed in the state.
RESULT OF MUNICIPAL CORPORATION ELECTION
Total seats: 341
Indian National Congress (INC): 271
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD): 23
Bhartiya Janta Party. (BJP): 20
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP): 9