Congress is banking on the organisational skills, strengths and expertise of Captain Amarinder Singh in Punjab. He is electorally capable of delivering for the party in the state, which has seen power rotating between the Akalis and Congress. But not anymore with the entry of the Aam Aadmi Party in the electoral landscape of Punjab.
Remember, AAP snatched the opposition space from the Akalis in the last assembly election of the state with Kejriwal announcing and broadcasting his political moves and motives. But for a state marred by militancy and an economic boom in the face of the green revolution, this wasn’t easy for Kejriwal as for his party’s shortcomings in strategically attending and articulating the mind and mood of the electorate.
Navjot Singh Sidhu, by aligning with the AAP, may prove crucial to the AAPs political office in the state. This may not be that easy for Sidhu as he is thoroughly aware of Captain Amarinder Singh’s persuasive and negotiating styles of settlement impressing his detractors.
In the recently held panchayat elections in the state, it was the charisma and calibre of Amarinder Singh which comfortably made the party sweep the polls. Sidhu knows this and is bargaining hard with the central leadership of Congress for a rank and role, prolifically describing his command and stature conquering new heights over the last few years.
The AAP will surely further its tally in the state, but it will need the people’s will for a decisive mandate. Three rebel AAP MLAs joined Congress in the presence of Amarinder Singh, something which was unpleasant for Sidhu’s ears and eyes. Also, the high command will like to make more elbow room for the Captain, considering his impact and influence on the party cadres, representatives and functionaries in the state.
How the opposition recasts is yet to be seen, especially for a Kejriwal trying and testing his political competence and capital as for a Navjot Singh Sidhu featuring in AAPs frame. But, before, MCD polls will be a litmus test for the AAP considering the party’s sway in the Delhi assembly.