Chandigarh (Punjab) [India]: Aam Aadmi Party’s in charge of Punjab, Raghav Chadha on Thursday said Punjab will now no longer be known as ‘Udta Punjab’ (a reference to the drug menace) but as ‘Uthta Punjab’ (Awaking of Punjab residents) as early trends from the counting of votes by the Election Commission indicated a sweep for AAP in the state.
“Punjab will not be known as ‘Udta Punjab’ from now onwards, but ‘Uthta Punjab’,” said Chadha addressing party workers in Chandigarh.
Making a reference to Arvind Kejriwal’s performance in New Delhi in the field of education, Chaddha said “Other parties tried to defame us, called Arvind Kejriwal a terrorist, people proved he in not ‘atankwadi’ but a ‘shiksha-wadi’.
“Punjab has proven that it likes the Arvind Kejriwal-Bhagwant Mann pair and no other party’s pair,” he added.
Crediting the party workers for the performance of the party in the recently held Assembly polls in the state, the AAP leader said, “All the credit goes to AAP workers, they didn’t see day or night, summer or winter and continued working for the party. AAP will work for everybody progressively.”
According to Election Commission, AAP is leading on 90 seats in the 117 seat Punjab Assembly at 12:15 PM. This was followed by Congress (18) and Shiromani Akali Dal (6).
If AAP wins Punjab, it will be the party’s maiden victory in the state and a vast improvement from its performance in the 2017 elections when it had finished second behind Congress.
Congress went into the polls having battled factionalism and anti-incumbency. The party changed its chief minister in September last year even as new Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu hinted about his own chief ministerial ambitions. The Congress finally declared Charanjit Singh Channi, the first Dalit Chief Minister of Punjab, as its chief ministerial candidate days before the polling on February 20.
The Shiromani Akali Dal, which had broken off its alliance with BJP over three farm laws that were eventually repealed, tied up with Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) for the assembly elections.
It is the first time that BJP has fought over 65 seats in Punjab. It tied up with former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s Punjab Lok Congress and SAD (Sanyukt) led by SS Dhindsa. BJP leaders have talked of putting up a strong performance in the polls.
Punjab recorded an average voter turnout of 65.50 per cent on February 20 compared to over 77 per cent in 2017. (ANI)