Tuesday, March 6, 2012

History in Punjab

The results are nearly in for the five states that went to polls and Punjab is the first where the Election Commission has announced the final results. And what a shocker it is - for the first time since the State was formed, an incumbent Government has been returned to power by the electorate.

With final results in, the SAD-BJP alliance, one of the oldest in India, comes up with 68 seats, well beyond the 59 required for a majority in the Assembly. The Congress comes in at 46, far away from its rival, while its secret partner, Manpreet Singh Badal's PPP, came in at a zero, with Manpreet himself being defeated in two constituencies.

The 2012 Assembly election stands out as a watershed in Punjab: never before has an election that was seen to be so close and so difficult to predict ended with such a clear verdict. Clearly, the SAD-BJP alliance's solid electioneering has ensured it another tern in Punajb, although this one will have to be extremely good if it looks at winning again.

The biggest challenge for the BJP in particular will be to see that this victory translates into a strong showing in the 2014 Lok Sabha Elections. For that, two years of solid work is a must. Therein lies the real test for the national party.

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