Chandigarh, Feb 3: Punjab goes to polls on Saturday and none can really give a clear picture as to who the winner would be. There have been several developments on the political front in the past few months. Navjot Singh Sidhu has joined the Congress and the Aam Admi Party too has thrown its hat in the ring.
Amandeep Sandhu, writer, researcher and journalist, has been travelling the length and breadth of the state to get a clear assessment about how the elections would pan out. Sandhu took time off his busy schedule to have an informal chat with OneIndia and in his assessment of things he finds that there would be no clear winner in Punjab.
Punjab has no secrets
Sandhu says that Punjab has always been a minefield of counter narratives. "Everyone thinks that Punjab always had secrets. However, what I found this time that there are none. People just do not know who will win or which party they would vote for."
"It appears to me that it would be a split verdict. One big factor is that nobody is openly giving support to any party. Punjabis normally take a stand, but this time a large population is silent. I have visited several constituencies and none are giving a clear picture," Sandhu adds.
Punjab and media
Sandhu talks about how the media covers elections in the state. "The media too has not dwelt deep into Punjab. The media goes just to Haryana and makes a projection. In the southern part of Punjab, I found that there was an Aam Admi Party effect. However, the Dera Sacha Sauda may have an impact here since it can influence the Dalit votes."
Sidhu and demonetisation factor
Sandhu feels that Sidhu's entry into the Congress has had no impact at all. It was a very late decision and he has not been seen in too many rallies either. "Captain Amarinder Singh has said that he would retire after this election. The Congress would need a second rung of leadership and in this scenario Sidhu would fit the bill," Sandhu adds.
About demonetisation, Sandhu says that it has had a very bad effect on the people especially in the rural areas. "The decision was made during the sowing season. People had no money at that time and they are clearly angry about it till date. While parts of the urban areas have not protested, there is a lot of resentment in the urban sector."
"There is another thing that I want to point out about the media. Why nobody is speaking to the women voters? They form half the electorates. When I spoke to women voters, mostly they tell me that they would vote according to the wishes of the male members in their families. I did speak to some of the men about it and they told me that this time they feel the women would not listen to them," Sandhu adds.