The Khadoor Sahib bypoll is significant, as it is a litmus test for the parties ahead of 2017 Punjab’s state Assembly elections.
Having suffered humiliating losses in Patiala and Talwandi Sabo bypolls earlier, AAP decided to sit on the fence rather than contesting the bypoll. AAP gave an excuse of scarcity of resources to invest in the bypoll. It’s really amusing to note that AAP whose advertising expenditure is even higher than that of the central Government is crying about resources. It clearly reflects the escapist psyche of AAP.
There are two AAP rebels, Bhai Baldeep and Sumail Singh Sidhu, who have decided to contest the by-poll as independents. Of these, Bhai Baldeep is being backed by Swaraj Abhiyan, the organisation led by former AAP leaders Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.
Speaking about his candidature Sumail said, “This is an opportunity to go in for alternative politics. The AAP has betrayed the people of the state once again as it did not contest the municipal elections held earlier this year, besides skipping the Dhuri by election,” Sumail said.
Congress on the other hand after confirming the candidature of Sikki for the by poll reneged on the pretext of protest against the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib.
“Canards were being spread that the Congress was not interested in the fight. This is our seat,” Shakeel Ahmad had told while confirming the candidature of Sikki for the bypoll.
And just one day later Captain Amarinder Singh backed out of the poll giving a lame excuse.
“We have decided that our protest against sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib is far more important an issue than winning a seat,” he said.
It is evident that new party chief Captain Amarinder Singh has got scared of the defeat as defeat for the Congress, could reflect poorly on him, considering that it is a seat the Congress holds.
Khadoor Sahib is frequently identified with a panthic character, which Captain Amarinder Singh is trying to use as an excuse while trying to emotionally fool the people.
Former Congress Working Committee (CWC) member Jagmeet Brar called Captain’s decision to step back a “big fraud” with the high command, party and people. He tweeted “#khadoor Sahib Sonia Gandhi approves Congress candidate, we run from contest. Humongous fraud, betrayal, Amarinder backstabs again.”
Ravinder Brahmpura said he had been looking forward to a contest with the AAP and the Congress. “But it seems both parties have chickened out,” he said. “I will win. People are sick of Sikki, who has not kept in touch with them. He tried to win brownie points by playing the Sikh card and resigning. But it has worked against him.”
Shiromani Akali Dal seems to be the clear winner of the Khadoor By poll given the shaky footing of the two independent contestants.