Chandigarh: Congress is seeking accountability from its Cabinet ministers in Punjab in these Lok Sabha elections.
Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh was quoted by ANI as saying on Wednesday, “As per the high command’s decision, incumbent ministers in Punjab who do not succeed in ensuring a victory for the Congress will be dropped from the Cabinet.” This is particular about the respective constituencies that these ministers represent. (Also read: Why Was Cong Mourning Balakot Airstrike, ‘Chachere Mamere Bhai Hain Kya,’ Asks Amit Shah in Bihar)
Punjab has 13 Lok Sabha seats and four of those are reserved for the Scheduled Castes — Hoshiarpur, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Saheb and Jalandhar. The other seats are Gurdaspur, Amritsar, Khadoor Sahib, Anandpur Sahib, Ludhiana, Ferozepur, Bathinda, Sangrur and Patiala.
In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, the BJP-Shiromani Akali Dal combine won six of the 13 seats in the state riding on the Narendra Modi-wave while the Aam Aadmi Party made a striking debut by winning four seats. The Congress got just three seats.
However, in the 2017 Assembly elections, the Congress managed to win 77 of the 177 seats, followed by AAP which won 20 seats. SAD got 15 seats while BJP could manage only three seats. The Lok Insaaf Party won two seats as well.
So in these elections, Congress would be banking on its Assembly win, and that’s why the Cabinet ministers have also been given the responsibility of ensuring a win, while BJP is hoping to cash in on the recent Balakot airstrike following the February 14 Pulwama terror attack.
The present state government will also be hoping that the recent farm loan waiver and crackdown against terror modules will tip the balance in its favour. The state goes to polls on May 19 in the last phase of the seven-phase election.