Punjab elections: Political rumour mill at work to cut down opponents

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Allegations of secret seat sharing agreements and conspiracy theories about back-door alliance are being used as ammo by political parties in Punjab. First, it was Shiromani Akali Dal leader and Union minister Harsimrat Kaur Badal who alleged of a secret seat sharing arrangement between the Aam Aadmi Party and the Congress. Now it is Delhi Chief Minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal alleging that the Congress and the SAD are in cahoots instead.

Arvind Kejriwal

Harsimrat Kaur had on Sunday challenged the AAP to come out clean on its back-door dealings with the Congress chief in Punjab. "There is a secret arrangement between the AAP and the Congress. We ask them to forge a pre-poll alliance for assembly polls instead of nurturing the unholy nexus," she said. The Union minister drew from the fact that AAP and Congress had formed a post-poll alliance in Delhi earlier making way for the AAP to form the government for the first time. The SAD has been accusing the Congress and the AAP to be hand-in-glove in inciting crowds to attack the Badals.

A day after her statement linking the AAP and the Congress, Arvind Kejriwal accused Capt Amarinder Singh, Congress' face in Punjab, of contesting from Lami to ensure a victory for Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal. He alleged that it was deputy CM Sukhbir Singh Badal who prompted Amarinder Singh to contest against senior Badal from Lambi. This, he said, was to ensure that no leaders from either party lose their seats. Singh is expected to contest from Lambi along with his traditional seat of Patiala-urban.

While no party apart from the Bharatiya Janata Party and the SAD has declared any alliance, allegations of secret arrangements are flying high and thick in Punjab. While the Congress has its best chance at a win in Punjab, SAD is attempting to break free of the anti-incumbency sentiment while the BJP is fighting dissent. The AAP has been seeing massive response to their campaigns with NRIs flying in to help the party that is being projected as an alternative to the corruption in the state.

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