Nation At 9: State-sponsored identity politics?

| Saturday, June 11, 2016 - 22:34
First Published |
Nation At 9: State sponsored identity politics?

Udta Punjab is just a small slice of controversy that we can expect before the impending polls in Punjab. The Punjab electorate has seen 10 years of the BJP-SAD combine, and anti-incumbency by all accounts is high as it would be in any state with one govt for ten years.
But with the advent of the AAP on the Punjab political scene, things have started to look iffy. Not only for those in power — the Akalis, but also for those who thought they had a shot in the polls, meaning the Congress.
Now the Kejriwal-led AAP has seen an opening in Punjab, and it’s a big one. The party is now going all out to woo the voters of the state. The latest in the run up to the polls, are two ads in national dailies. 
First, the announcement that Punjabi teachers are a must in every Delhi school. Immediately the knives were out with the BJP and Congress both calling it a blatant appeasement policy with the Punjab polls in mind.
Barely had that controversy died down, Arvind Kejriwal, instead of backing out, decided to double down and announced that the Barapulla flyover in Delhi will now be named after a Sikh icon. Now it’s not like other parties have not indulged in blatant appeasement through the years, towards one community or the other.
The real question is, will the AAP party agree that these moves are purely being made keeping the Punjab elections in mind and not just administrative decisions that the AAP claims?

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