The great Punjab heist

Flush with victory in Uttar Pradesh, a sweep in Uttarakhand and the joy of beating the Congress to the punch in Goa and Manipur, the Right Wing has mostly forgotten Punjab. Yes, we are trying not to think about it.

But if you ask me, something very sinister has just unfolded in Punjab. Not because Congress won, but because of the manner in which this victory came about. In hindsight, it seems to be a major success of media propaganda, which may well repeat in some form in other states.

I am sure I can speak for large sections of the RW when I say that we all thought Punjab was in disarray, in the grip of an anti-incumbency wave. This kind of thinking was sorely manifest even at the highest levels. Notice that Modi himself did just ONE rally in Punjab. And Modi is not someone who is known for putting in half hearted efforts. Clearly, that one rally was just a courtesy to the Akalis. In their hearts and often even in their public statements, the BJP leaders, workers and supporters had all decided that there was an anti-incumbency wave sweeping Punjab.

Did we really stop to think why a rather prosperous state like Punjab would experience an anti-incumbency wave of historic proportions? Of course there can be simple anti-incumbecy… a sense of restlessness among voters and a desire for change. Punjab has a long tradition of alternating governments and so NDA was probably going to lose anyway. But why an anti-incumbency wave?

What had happened in Punjab that was so bad that we all thought people were itching to throw the Akalis (and BJP) out? How did we convince ourselves that the election in Punjab was between Congress and AAP, with NDA out of the picture?

 

The votes are in. Far from being out of the picture, the NDA is clearly the main opposition in Punjab. The NDA is 8% behind the Congress but also as much as 7% ahead of AAP. In fact, the SAD alone contested 94 seats and still got more votes than AAP did by contesting 113 seats.

Consider the media campaign. First, there were the infamous “100 seat surveys” that showed AAP sweeping the state. There was even a big Bollywood movie made on the atmosphere of drug addiction and decay in Punjab. Dr. Praveen Patil called the movie a “special purpose vehicle”. The media kept up the pressure, with regular reports on how Punjab was staring into the abyss and all because of NDA.

 

And AAP, which really knows how to work the airwaves, used this very effectively to crush the right wing morale. Because of the BJP’s two failures in Delhi, the party and its supporters had developed a mental block against AAP. Again, the media sensed this fear and leveraged it extensively against us.

Look at what was really happening. AAP was nowhere and we were all worried sick about it.

Because of the AAP association with Khalistan, it is not hard to imagine that significant sections of the Hindu vote might have gone to Congress. And even if the BJP leadership did not do this as a matter of policy, terrified BJP workers on the ground might have shifted votes to Congress anyway.

This is why I say that the election in Punjab was downright sinister. You had BJP workers shifting votes to the Congress and even cheering the Congress on. Can it get more sinister than this?

 

In Punjab, we were happily destroying our own fortifications and cheering our enemy along. Because the media convinced us that there was an even bigger enemy attacking us from the other direction.

But there was no other enemy on the other side. It was a lie made up by the media.

 

Face it. The BJP was completely outwitted and outfoxed in Punjab. In retrospect, how did we fall for this?

*Facepalm*

I can imagine Capt. Amrinder Singh having a Patiala peg and rolling in laughter right now, with Bhagwant Mann by his side.

Can you believe BJP supporters voted for us because they thought AAP is for real?

That’s what Amrinder Singh is telling Mann right now.

The Congress is happy because it swept to power. Kejriwal is happy because the media hype allowed him to auction AAP tickets several times over for several crores each.

And the BJP is happy because it found out that the AAP ghost isn’t real. Who is the fool here?

 

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10 thoughts on “The great Punjab heist

  1. Fact is, the Badal and son duo had a huge image problem of corruption. Especially son Sukhbir Badal Go to Punjab and hear the stories about the Akali corruption. They may not all be true, but it’s bad enough that people believe them.
    Not that the BJP were so clean either. I know 1 guy, a sitting MLA whom the BJP put up for re-election again this time. When he first became MLA he was like your average middle class on-the-brink-of-genteel-poverty guy on the street, like so many of us. At the end of 5 years he grew physically as well as financially. His close relative used to have a run-down halwai and milk shop. Said close relative now has a huge glass fronted multi-storeyed shopping complex. It’s nice to make good but the rumour mill says not so nice things about the MLA and the relatives and how that glass fronted building came into being. A guy working in the local Tehsildar’s office told me that for every land registry a cut of the “ghoos” goes automatically to the MLA.
    It seems the BJP is stuck with the Akalis in Punjab like they were with the Chautala family in Haryana. While i wouldn’t advise cutting loose from the Akalis, it would be very desirable they both (Punjab BJP and Akalis) clean up their act.

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    1. You are right to an extant, Junior Badal is more a businessman than a statesman. and majority of BJP MLAs amassed wealth while RSS guys working on foot being fed honesty messages. People do see things. RSS guys were really knew the ground. AAP was having traction in malwa belt. and majha belt. Even if you see ASR loksabha aap candidate got more than 1.50 lakh votes.
      So I disagree with chaiwala on this. It was ground realities AAP was having good traction as NRI khalistanis canvassing for AAP changed the scene. otherwise it was calculated to be simple majority for SAD

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    2. Punjab elected most corrupt party ever in the world and the party which killed thousands of innocent Sikhs, framed innocent Hindus, sheltered murderers is thought voted against corruption of a combined in which Modi’s party is tactical ally waiting to end Alkali corruption as it ended Shivsena”s corruption remaining its ally? It defies logic. There is deeper reason of Congress penetration against self interest of voters.

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  2. People of Punjab have rightly rejected the corrupt and family rule of SAD.BJP should contest independently and not play second fiddle to SAD.Also BJP should discard corrupt party men and instead accommodate honest and dedicated grass root workers.

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  3. Whatever you say, I am here to enjoy Punjab election result as much as all other 4 states election result. In fact, in a scale of 10, happiness over Punjab elections is 9 out of 10 on a scale of 10, for UP 10 out of 10 no doubt, 9 out of 10 for UK, 6 out of 10 for Manipur, and 5 out of 10 for Goa. Over all average 7.8. Just missed distinction only due to Goa. So ENJOY !!!

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  4. The root of political reality is in the mental stage of the people. The continuous hidden colonial rule in India most of post independence period was the result of sinister international will and resources and the internal traumatized defeatist leadership even during freedom struggle and post independence governments until now. AAP is nothing but the modern version of Gungadin enriching with crumbs thrown by foreigners. Any free people’s first task would have been to recover from centuries old and new wounds immediately. In Nehru we had International agenda opposite to basic and natural requirements. Modi and young Indians broke this shackle but deeply wounded and traumatized Punjabis, Bengalis, Keralites, fast moving North Easterners, least touched but greatly manipulated Southern Aryans MUST understand the healing Modi mantra in consolidation and recovery of India.

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  5. I would like to correct first line in above post to read: The root of political, economical, cultural and civilizational reality is in the mental stage of the people.

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  6. I agree with CW’s contention that BJP supporters Punjabi Hindus directed Punjab Hindu voters towards stronger contender Congress against AAP. However I don’t believe that it was purely because of propaganda about AAP winning possibility. It was from genuine fear. Yes, the Hindus of Punjab still remember how they were terrorized by Khalistani. And the Khalistani supporters from Canada, UK etc. were going Gung Ho in support for AAP which openly supported Khalistani terrorists. This had scared the heck out of Punjab Hindus. And since SAD-BJP were not even contender, Punjab Hindus’ only choice was Congress to keep Khalistani away from the power. However, I never thought Sikh community was so generous in forgiving Congress party’s crime against that community.

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  7. Am sure the BJP and Shah will learn from this. Never underestimate an opponent like AAP but never overestimate it either. As you say, the AAP ghost might have been laid to rest permanently. Rest of India is not foolish like Delhi.

    The elections decisively showed that Kejriwal is past his “sell-by” date. The BJP knows how to deal with the Congress so in a way it is good.

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