BJP facing tough time in Punjab
Amritsar February 17, 2021
The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) got a major setback in the urban local bodies in Punjab, though some opine that the results could not be taken as a reflection on the forthcoming assembly elections in the state but the party’s Punjab leadership is finding it hard to make inroads into rural Punjab.
The Punjab’s BJP leadership might have been taking an excuse of farmer stir against the three agriculture bills for losing the urban local bodies elections but they could not hide other several reasons for which they have lost the ground in the state.
The saffron party has ruled for almost fifteen years in Punjab along with one of its oldest alliance partner SAD (B) but the Akali's not only chose to broke the alliance with BJP in protest against the farm bills, presumably to appease its vote base in Punjab- peasantry, but one of its ministers Harsimrat Kaur Badal also resigned from the Union cabinet.
Left alone in the electoral field in Punjab, the party bigwigs are doing serious introspection on why they couldn’t’ find desirable support from the rural areas despite its leaders having significant portfolios in Punjab government in past.
Several BJP leaders from Punjab including Balramji Das Tandon, Vijay Sampla, Manoranjan Kalia, Luxmikanta Chawla, Anil Joshi, Tarun Chugh, Shwet Malik, Som Dutt, Kamal Sharma etc. have had close working relations with Akali’s and had also made their significance in Center leadership of the party yet they never mulled to make their own identity in rural areas giving Akali’s an upper hand.
And that’s the reason that BJP and SAD (B) made an understanding to contest on 23 and 94 assembly seats respectively in Punjab. Party’s Punjab leadership didn’t even learn a lesson from the humiliating defeats of late Arun Jaitely and Hardeep Singh Puri . Infighting has also cost the party (BJP) dear in Punjab which the party high command have to check if it wants to give a tough fight to Akali’s.
SAD(B) leadership knew how much BJP leaders were dependent upon them that they openly started saying in their public address to BJP leaders contesting parliamentary elections to just file their nomination papers and come next time to collect the winning certificates.
The farmer's agitation has only made the political path difficult for the BJP to traverse in Punjab with farmers baying for their leader's blood. And if the issue is not amicably resolved then BJP’s hopes of getting any support from the rural areas of Punjab will only be dashed.
BJJ leadership also lacks a ‘farmer’ face as compared to Akali leadership whose patron as well as president Parkash Singh Badal and Sukhbir Singh Badal respectively proudly proclaims to the farmers and heading a political party having a majority of farmers.
BJP has always concentrated in the urban areas and had launched its membership drives focusing primarily in the urban belt and during the ongoing farmers agitation their leaders are facing huge protests everywhere in Punjab.
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