The Congress swept back to power in Punjab after a decade – with veteran Amarinder Singh set to return as its Chief Minister.This came in contrast to Aam Aadmi Party’s claims, which through its high-voltage campaign in Punjab, promised winning up to 100 seats. It ended up with only 20 seats.A major blooper by the AAP during its campaign in Punjab was the move to superimpose the broom on an image of the Golden Temple, in the youth manifesto of the party.
The AAP’s inability to retain a respected Jat Sikh leader known to speak his mind, played against the party’s fortunes in Punjab. Navjot Singh Sidhu was expected to join the AAP on India’s Independence Day, but he did not agree to their terms and conditions.
Allegations of sale of tickets dented its anti-corruption plank, and led to revolts and formation of separate fronts. That may have eaten into votes, which otherwise would have gone to the AAP. High-profile faux pas on the part of Bhagwant Singh Mann, the party’s face for the CM post, dented AAP’s chances. Mann’s Facebook Live from inside the parliament, and then the drinking allegations made him less appealing to the voters in the state.
The AAP’s defeat in Punjab shows that a single point agenda of anti-corruption does not always work and with all the goodwill, an organization needs to be built on the ground.