For several Punjabis staying in Pune, the fall of Badals on Saturday appears to be a “great relief”. They hope that the new government, under the leadership of Captain Amarinder Singh, will take Punjab to the path of development and wean away from the peril of drug addiction. Many of them say it matters little who came to power, but Badal had to go.
Baljit Singh Kochaar, a Punjabi staying in Pune, felt that Badals had taken Punjab off the track and people there were fed up with the family. “People desperately wanted Badals to go out. The government created multitude of problems and derailed Punjab from its growth track. Actually, when we spoke to people back home even Sikhs were unhappy with them as the Sikhism diminished under them,” said Kochaar.
He said that among the most prominent issues that worked against the SAD-BJP was the prevailing drug problem in the state.
“It’s a reality. The young ones are falling prey to drugs and there was little hope that it would change if Badals had returned to power. People have chosen Captain Amarinder Singh and we hope that under his leadership Punjab will recover,” said Kochar.
Nitin Arora, a law student hailing from Chandigarh, points to the decimation of the SAD-BJP alliance, which was thrown to the third position by the Congress and the AAP. “They only got 15 seats this time which is a steep fall from 68 in the previous polls. This shows the extent of displeasure voters had against Akalis,” said Arora.
For many, AAP’s comparatively lacklustre performance came as a surprise. They said that although the party was popular in Punjab, it seems to have lost the votes to the Congress’s clear nomination of CM candidate, Captain Amrinder Singh.
“Many of us believed that the AAP was doing very good in several regions, especially in Malwa region. It should have won the elections but, now, in the hindsight it seems that the decision to expel local leaders and reliance on Delhi exports cost it dearly,” said an AAP worker from Pune who wished anonymity.
AAP’s Pune leader Subhash Ware refused to comment.
19 Feb 2019
20 Feb 2019