Ahead of assembly polls, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has announced its seat-sharing formula with the BJP putting up candidates on 65 seats while its ally Punjab Lok Congress, led by former Congress chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh, to field candidates on 37 constituencies.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt), led by Sukdev Singh Dhindsa and Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, will contest on the remaining 15 assembly seats. The formula was finalised at a meeting of top leaders of the BJP, Punjab Lok Congress and SAD-S at a meeting in the Capital which was also attended by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
While the BJP-led NDA and its allies are pitching for security and stability, the ruling Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) are also harping on issues relating to development, infrastructure, social security and jobs.
In the 2017 assembly elections, Congress had won 77 out of the 117 total seats while the AAP had bagged 20 seats while the Shiromani Akali Dal and the BJP were relegated to the third spot with 18 seats.
Punjab has seen a number of important political developments over the past one year – farmers’ agitation over three controversial farm laws, dramatic resignation of Captain Amarinder Singh as chief minister of the Congress government and the Congress installing state’s first Dalit chief minister in Charanjit Singh Channi. Captain Amarinder Singh ended his five-decade-old association with the Congress and formed his own political outfit – the Punjab Lok Congress and stitched an alliance with the BJP which had been deserted by its own ally, the Shiromani Akali Dal, last year over the issue of farm laws.