ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Punjab : In Search of New Leadership

In Punjab, religion, caste, region, language and leadership factors combine differently in different elections to produce contrasting electoral outcomes. Over the last three decades, a virtually bipolar party system has come to stay in the state, where power has alternated between the Shiromani Akali Dal and the Congress. Looking at the mixed feelings of the Hindus and the Sikhs towards each other, the durability of the alliance between the SAD and the BJP surprises any observer of Punjab politics. The long-standing anti-Congress tradition of SAD, and the complementary electoral bases of the two parties could be the factors behind the sustenance of the alliance. The attempts of the Bahujan Samaj Party to carve out an independent space in Punjab politics have not paid dividends so far. This time, the coming together of Akali factions and the factional disunity in the Congress, coupled with adverse perceptions of the people about the performance of the ruling party seem to have determined the outcome in Punjab.

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