Supporters of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) hold aloft brooms, the symbol of the party, during a state election rally in Amritsar. (Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg)

Election 2019: Has Aam Aadmi Party Run Out Of Steam In Punjab?

The contest in Punjab is no longer three-cornered among the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiromani Akali Dal alliance and the Aam Aadmi Party as the Arvind Kejriwal-led party has lost its steam in most of the seats, senior journalists covering elections told BloombergQuint.

The Aam Aadmi Party was the big surprise in the 2014 general election. It had won four seats and emerged as the largest party after the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal alliance.

But things haven’t been smooth sailing since then. Leaders either quit or were disqualified because of squabbles and infighting within the party. The AAP is facing four such rebel candidates in key constituencies like Patiala, Bathinda, Faridkot and Sangrur.

“Only in one or two seats will there be a triangular contest. In the other seats, the AAP has lost its steam,” said Rajeev Bhaskar, editor at Punjab Tribune.

Vikas Vasudeva from The Hindu agreed. The only seat where the AAP could retail power is Sangrur where sitting Lok Sabha MP and state chief Bhagwant Mann is very popular, he said. Mann’s prospects, according to Vasudeva, are more to do with his personal connect with the masses rather than the popularity of the Aam Aadmi Party. “When you travel across the state there is no enthusiasm among the people regarding the AAP, barring Sangrur.”

Watch the full discussion here: