Assembly Elections 2022: Counting of votes in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, which went to polls between February 10 and March 7, will begin at 8 am on Thursday

વોટ્સએપ ગ્રુપમાં જોડાવા ➙

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Assembly Elections 2022: Counting of votes in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur, which went to polls between February 10 and March 7, will begin at 8 am on Thursday

finished second in 2017 Assembly election, is buoyant at the exit poll results including the India Today - Axis My India exit poll, which has estimated that the party will get between 76 to 90 seats in 2022.

The figures have also left the pollsters amazed as many of them were predicting a hung assembly.

The political arena in Punjab is buzzing about how the AAP managed to emerge as a possible single-largest political party despite a five-cornered contest, declining voter turnout, and the alleged Dera support to SAD-BJP. In addition, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal was accused of hobnobbing with the Khalistani fringe groups.

Here are the five factors that can explain AAP's unexpected success in the Punjab Assembly election.

1. AAP's emotional appeal

The Aam Aadmi Party may have announced Bhagwant Mann as its presumptive chief ministerial face but its election campaign revolved around the party supremo Arvind Kejriwal with 'Ek Mauka Kejriwal Nu' (Give a chance to Kejriwal) catchline. The party leaders have been making an emotional appeal to the voters, saying that they have given enough chances to the Congress and Akali Dal and this time the same be given to AAP.

2. The misgovernance narrative

The AAP was successful in building a narrative against Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal by raising the issue of misgovernance. The party leaders, including the Leader of the Opposition Harpal Singh Cheema, say that the people would overthrow Congress and SAD for their wrongdoings.

While Congress is facing a five-year-long anti-incumbency, the SAD carries decade-long baggage that includes controversies like the sacrilege cases, alleged exoneration of Dera Sacha Sauda in a blasphemy case, besides the financial mess and the alleged mafia rule.

3. People voted for a change

The Aam Aadmi Party not only lured the people with freebies like Rs 1000 per month to women, better infrastructure, free power units, but also projected a better picture of Punjab. The AAP targeted Congress and SAD accusing them of pushing Punjab towards bankruptcy and a bleak future.

The party sought votes for a change which seems to have clicked with the public. However, the pollsters were doubtful as the voter turnout declined in 116 out of a total of 117 Assembly constituencies.

4. Announcement of a chief ministerial face

The party, according to its leaders, made a big mistake in 2017 by not announcing a chief ministerial face. Arvind Kejriwal had tried to break the ice last year by saying that the party's CM face will be a Sikh but did not announce a face till last.

Congress and Akali Dal tried to bank on this weakness and tagged Arvind Kejriwal as an outsider. CM Charanjit Singh Channi even courted controversy with his Bhaiya jibe. However, the attempts were foiled by the AAP when it declared Bhagwant Mann as its presumptive chief minister.

5. Choice of candidates and their winability

The party, according to the sources, did an internal evaluation to assess the winability of the sitting MLAs and the new faces.

Many of the sitting MLAs became turncoats after they were denied tickets. Arvind Kejriwal was earlier keen to forge an alliance with the farmer unions and there were speculations that the farmer leader Balbir Rajewal could be the party's chief ministerial face but the alliance did not become a reality as only two dozen tickets were left unannounced and Rajewal wanted more.

Here the party's strategy not to bow down before Rajewal also worked as the farmer leader, according to AAP sources, lacked winability. This may have divided the floating vote share, that is 15 to 20 per cent, but AAP seems to have retained it.

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