AAP to gain the most from Congress infighting

Voters across social, religious and political divides seem to suggest that the Aam Aadmi Party led by Arvind Kejriwal and its Punjab Chief Ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann are set to benefit the most from the constant infighting that seems to have engulfed the state unit of the Congress, according to a CVoter survey for IANS carried out in the state.

In 2017, though the AAP was considered favourite to win the Punjab Assembly elections, it came a distant second behind the Congress led by Captain Amarinder Singh in the state. But with the Captain gone from the party and other top leaders busy fighting and criticising each other, the AAP is once again fancying its chances. A tracker poll being run by CVoter since 2021 has consistently shown that AAP will emerge as the largest party in a hung Assembly, narrowly missing the majority mark.

Respondents were asked the following question: Which party has gained the most due to the infighting within the Congress? Overall amongst all respondents, 57.5 per cent were of the opinion that AAP will benefit; 21.1 per cent said it would be the Akali Dal-led alliance, while 15.6 per cent thought the BJP-PLC (new party formed by the Captain) will benefit.

Amongst political parties, as many as 62 per cent of Congress supporters said the AAP will benefit, just 5 per cent less than AAP supporters. Even more worrisome for the Congress is 63.4 per cent Dalits saying the AAP will benefit the most.

The current Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi is the first Dalit chief minister of the state. Even among Sikhs, close to 54 per cent of the respondents were of the opinion that AAP will benefit the most from the Congress infighting. It seems the party seems to been bestowed with an unexpected gift just before the elections.

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