Why Kejriwal’s Punjab gamble will not work?

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) created history by registering unprecedented victory in the Delhi assembly elections. After Delhi, Punjab will play a crucial role in realising AAP’s national ambition. Ever since, AAP embarked on its mission to grab power in Punjab, it is banking on Delhi’s winning formula. But it will be interesting to see if the cut-paste formula from Delhi will work in the border state.

After the re-organisation of the region with splitting into Hindi-speaking Haryana, Pahari-speaking Himachal Pradesh and Punjabi-speaking Punjab in 1966, no non-Sikh has ever been the chief minister of the Sikh-majority state.

Kejriwal has so far been not clear about his party’s leadership in the state. He has rejected all the senior leaders from the soil, both within and outside party cadre. His party’s lieutenants in charge of managing the campaign in the state do not belong to state either.

After coming out with Delhi’s winning formula in Punjab, Kejriwal took another gamble when in Rome recently he declared of taking Punjab’s command in his own hands. As if he is not the overall boss of AAP in the state?

The rookie party has not managed to come out of the Punjabi vs. outsiders debate and Kejriwal took a gamble on the political, cultural and social nuances of Punjabiyat. Punjab has a complex history. Going by series of blunders AAP has made on socio-religious front reverently in state, we can easily presume that Kejriwal has not taken the pains to grasp Punjab’s history and ethos. This explains why AAP is losing ground in Punjab.

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