Congress may not win but Capt. Amarinder Singh is the best CM candidate among all parties
#Congress is not favourite to win the #Punjab elections on its own. It’s not that BJP-SAD government, led by the Badal family, is doing a great job in governing the state. The current government has been an abject failure in providing jobs, reducing corruption or handling drugs issue. #Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), led by the father-son duo of Prakash Singh Badal and #Sukhbir Singh Badal, is considered highly nepotistic, corrupt and ineffectual. In any case, no one else in SAD has any real chance to become the Chief Minister.
BJP really never had a CM candidate as it was always a junior partner of SAD. However, BJP did come out of the shadow of its long term partner Shiv Sena to successfully stake its claim for the Mahrshtra CM position last year. BJP may do the same in Punjab in the unlikely scenario of BJP-SAD getting the majority with BJP becoming the senior partner. But none of the BJP leaders have the charisma or a proven record in the current government.
BJP Punjab chief, #Vijay Sampla, has a clean image but not the mass appeal beyond his Jalandhar-Hoshiarpur Constituency. Modi effect has mostly worn off in Punjab even though the central government is doing a reasonably good job in controlling corruption and improving infrastructure. Punjabi voters are clearly disenchanted right now and looking for a change.
The most effective political campaign, right now, is being run by the Kejriwal-led Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Kejriwal has decided to not yet announced its CM candidate and, according to some sources, may may decide to become Punjab CM himself, if AAP wins. However, Kejriwal has not really covered himself with glory in Delhi, where a long list of broken promises and a daily ugly tiff with the Delhi Lieutenant Governor Jung, Delhi Police and Prime Minister Modi has crippled his rule. Kejriwal is known more of his Twitter rants and media appearances than for any transformation he has been brought to Delhi.
AAP has other candidates in Bhagwant Mann, Navjot Sindhu (assuming he joins AAP), HS Phoolka and Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi. Navjot Sidhu may be a little too maverick to be a CM candidate and others don’t have state-wide appeal. Kejriwal may eventually like HS Phoolka for his honest image and the fact that Phoolka is unlikely to challenge him in the long run. However, Phoolka excels at street activism than being an effective administrator.
Finally, Punjab Congress also has not announced its CM candidate. Not that Congress is overflowing with great leaders but in Captain #Amarinder Singh, it has an experienced administrator with mass appeal. Amarinder Singh was CM from 2000 till 2007 when the party, mired in corruption charges, lost to BJP-SAD. Earlier this year, Captain called #Rahul Gandhi “inexperienced” for the post of party president, that obviously did not go well with Rahul. However, Amarinder Singh’s popularity remain undiminished and is probably the right person in the wrong party.