With just a day remaining for the polling to take place in the land of five rivers, the people of Punjab are ready to cast their votes in the Punjab legislative assembly elections, on February 4, 2017.
The elections will be held in single phase for 117 single member constituencies of the state. The political contests in Punjab till now have been between Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and the Congress but the 2017 elections have witnessed the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) registering as the third contender, making it ‘The Battle of the Three Horses’. The consecutive two term regime of the SAD-BJP government headed by Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal has endowed tough competition between the contenders to form the new government in the state.
The political activities in the state are quite intensive with all the parties campaigning and promising to eradicate the major issues plaguing the state.
While the BJP-SAD alliance has been focusing on the improvement of the social infrastructure in the state in its 16 page manifesto, it has assured schemes such as houses to the poor, lands to the Dalits, job to at least one member from each family and much more. Being in power for two consecutive terms the allies will be looking forward to sustain their regime in the state.
The Aam Aadmi Party though being the tyro’s in the state seems to have a firm hold in the state after winning all the four seats it contested from in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Their 19 point manifesto includes extermination of drugs from the state and debarring of drug peddlers. Some of the other agendas include the welfare schemes for Dalit families, providing 25 lakh jobs and starting of AAP canteens that would provide food for Rs. 5. With people looking for a prominent predominance in the state, the AAP is also a bigwig in the race.
The Punjab Congress showing robust interest in Capt. Amrinder Singh has named him as the Chief Ministerial candidate for the elections. The main agendas include making proper use of state’s potential in terms of agriculture, manufacturing, social services and improving the fiscal situation in the state. The manifesto also includes other schemes related to adequate water supply, electricity, agricultural debts, ceasing the drug supply and its consumption in just four weeks etc. With the promise of undoing the damage done in Punjab in recent 10 years, the Congress will again be getting ready to put its step again in Punjab regime.
The true potential that the state holds still lies hidden behind the problems tormenting it. The elections this year is surely going to be an uphill battle with the three contenders ready to give a tough fight to each other.
There will be criticism and there will be brawls but, the party with best appeal to the public and the required calibre will bag the crown of Punjab!
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