On the occasion of Gurpurab, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the repeal of the three contentious agriculture regulations, which holds great significance for poll-bound Punjab. The unexpected declaration will undoubtedly change the political landscape in the state, where an assembly election is scheduled for early next year.
The step by the BJP-led central government paves the way for an election alliance between Amarinder Singh, former Punjab chief minister who launched the Punjab Lok Congress and hinted at seat-sharing with the BJP if the farm concerns are resolved. Though Captain’s party is yet to gather momentum, he still has a significant political influence in Punjab’s rural and urban areas, and he will be aiming to recruit unhappy Congress leaders in order to weaken the Congress party.
After the ruling Congress, the AAP, and the Shiromani Akali Dal, would the BJP-Amarinder coalition emerge as Punjab’s fourth political force?
The alliance will undoubtedly be extremely problematic. With only a few months until the election, forming a political party and building its organisation would be difficult. The anti-BJP sentiment is running high among the people of Punjab.
Besides this, the alliance will be a marriage of convenience. While Captain is a former Congressman, Ranjit Singh Brahmpura and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa are among the Shiromani Akali Dal’s founding members (SAD). Dissidents from other parties who are refused tickets are likely to be poached by Captain and the BJP.
With the rollback of farm laws being the Modi government’s first significant reversal, the opposition is making every effort to take credit while also courting farmers. Congress, which has continuously opposed the laws, has claimed credit for pushing the Modi administration to back down under their pressure. The Congress began publicising Rahul Gandhi’s comments from a few months ago that said the government will be forced to back down on agricultural legislation within hours of PM Modi’s big announcement.
देश के अन्नदाता ने सत्याग्रह से अहंकार का सर झुका दिया।
अन्याय के खिलाफ़ ये जीत मुबारक हो!
— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) November 19, 2021