20 June, 2021

Friends, Foes And Families

New alliances and old enmities dominate the polls, not issues

Friends, Foes And Families

The Rajas and the Reds rubbing shoulders and showering praise on each other? Red flags with the hammer-and-sickle painted on fluttering alongside the Congress' tricolour? Punjab today presents perhaps the most baffling example of strange bedfellows in politics. Welcome to the Great Indian Political Roadshow in Punjab where the election campaign has been quick to pick up. And nowhere is it more colourful than in Patiala, where the Congress candidate is the Maharani of Patiala, Parneet Kaur (the wife of Punjab Congress president Capt Amarinder Singh, who would have been the Maharaja of Patiala had the princely state still been in existence). Kaur is being supported by her new-found comrades-in-arms: the communists.

Mixed bag for Congress

  • A split in the SAD has raised Congress hopes.
  • The anti-incumbency factor is also expected to help.
  • But the Congress is not completely united; dissidence can hurt chances.
  • Congress has not improved its anti-Sikh image.
  • Sonia Gandhi is still not acceptable to a large section.

    On the other hand, friends of long...

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