After the party’s poor show in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation elections, a section in BJP believes that it is time to redraw strategy for upcoming Punjab assembly polls. Leaders suggested that without establishing ground connection, it will be difficult to win Punjab polls despite forming an alliance with former chief minister Amarinder Singh and Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.
BJP, which is in power, has won only 12 seats in Chandigarh Municipal Corporation polls and AAP emerged as the single largest party by winning 14 of 35 seats. Congress won eight and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was able to win just one seat.
Calling the result a setback, a BJP leader said that the result came as a surprise to the party when we are anticipating to retain the corporation for another term and will have an impact on upcoming Punjab assembly polls early next year. “Chandigarh Municipal Corporation results do not fully reflect the mood of Punjab but give a picture of what is going on in the state. But the results show that all is not well for the party on the ground in Punjab and AAP emerging as a big challenge for the existing political forces, ” he said.
Another leader pointed out that the result shows that there is still some anger among voters over the three farm laws which were repealed in winter session. “We lost the first election in the region after the repeal of three farm laws and it shows that we are not able to pacify the anger against us. It is going to adversely affect the party in Punjab assembly polls. Our leadership must redraw strategy to convince people that the government is not against the farmers, ” he said.
Many in the saffron camp believe that forming alliance with Singh’s Punjab Lok Congress and Dhindsa’s Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt) will not help the party till the BJP makes its presence felt on the ground. On Monday, the BJP announced to jointly contest the upcoming Punjab polls with Singh and Dhindsa. “Till we strengthen our own support, we are not going to gain anything from alliance with former chief minister Singh and Dhindsa. We have to work to strengthen the BJP on the ground in Punjab at war footing as time is running out, ” a BJP leader said.
Punjab elections will be held in February-March next year along with Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa. Earlier after its alliance broke up with its oldest alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the BJP has announced to contest all 117 assembly seats in Punjab. In 2017, BJP won three seats out of 23 it contested.