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Modi wave? In Punjab, Cong vote share improves

May 25, 2019 06:28 AM


Modi wave? In Punjab, Cong vote share improves


The Congress performance in the 2017 assembly elections was considered spectacular. Yet the party has not only withstood the Modi wave, it has actually improved its vote share by 1.62% in Punjab this time.

In 2014, when the Congress fielded heavyweight candidates, including Captain Aamrinder Singh and Ambika Soni, it polled 33.19% votes and could win just three seats. In the 2017 assembly election its vote share increased to 38.50%. This time its vote share has reached 40.12% even as it lost a significant chunk of its Hindu vote base to SAD-BJP, and a share of Dalit voters to BSP in Doaba.

Going by the drifts, it emerges that a section of Sikh voters compensated the loss for the Congress even improved its share with a possible shift of Dalit votes in its favour in Malwa and Majha regions.

It is after seven years that the Congress has touched the 40% mark. It had more than 40% vote share in the 2012 assembly election too, but SADBJP secured 2% votes more and repeated their government, thus bucking the trend of alternating governments. In 2009, the Congress had polled over 45% votes.

“Sikh voters have a played a very crucial role in saving the Congress this time and winning the eight seats. We have been badly dented in urban areas at several areas due to BJP doing politics of polarization but the Congress fared well in rural areas with support from Sikh voters who are angry with SAD over issues of sacrilege and Behbal Kalan firing. In the 2017 and 2019 elections considerable number of Sikhs have voted for the Congress,” said Punjab minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, a prominent Sikh face of the Punjab Congress.

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