The election date for the Assembly elections in Punjab is finally out and the state will go for polls on February 4th, 2017 for its 117 seats. Punjab elections are significant because failure to win in this state can be a major blow to not just one but three major political parties, all contesting it with a fair chance of victory. While it can be a fresh boost for Congress battling for a decent win since years, AAP stands a fair chance of turning out to be a tough competitor, and SAD-BJP finds itself in a tight spot and bound to face public wrath for its incompetence in dealing with water scarcity, drug menace, sluggish economy, and a host of other issues.
As per the India Today-Axis Opinion Poll, Congress is expected to win 56-62 seats, AAP is likely to win 36-41 seats, whereas SAD-BJP alliance may be far lagging behind and getting some 18-22 seats to its name. The poll also suggests that Amarinder Singh is the favourite choice of CM among the public, amassing one-third (34%) of people’s support, whereas Parkash Singh Badal is being favoured by 22% of those surveyed, and Arvind Kejriwal is supported by 16% of the people.
In a paradoxical survey result, the Lokniti-ABP News pre-election survey suggests otherwise. It reports that majority of people are in favour of giving SAD-BJP alliance another chance to serve. The poll results suggest 34% of votes going in favour of SAD-BJP, Congress giving a close fight at 31%, and AAP winning 21% of the votes. The survey also revealed that a whopping 85% of Punjab’s population feels drug addiction is a big menace in the state and needs urgent attention, and Amarinder Singh is believed to be a better contender in tackling it. This suggests why 29% of people wish to see Amarinder Singh as the next CM while 20% vouch for Badal.
However, opinion polls have often proved to be inaccurate when the actual results are out, because of the sheer numbers that make up our electorate, and the wide socio-economic spectrum to which our population belongs. This makes a huge number of issues and factors come into play when it comes to electing a party per se. Often, the paradoxical nature of these polls along with the complexity of our country’s demographics make it difficult to draw a fair conclusion, and hence the true inclination of the majority of Punjab voters will only be out with the final counting to be done on 11th March.