Voters in Punjab, who openly called for change, appeared to have used their vote to introduce it. The state has traditionally seen power alternate between Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combination.
It has been decades since any party in the state has secured such a large majority as the AAP currently appears to be headed for. By 1962, Congress had won 90 seats. In the 2017 elections, the Congress won 77 seats, the AAP 20, the SAD 15 and the BJP three seats.
Celebrations erupted at AAP offices in Punjab as the party looked set for a massive majority. AAP leader Raghav Chadha said: “The people of Punjab voted for the duo Arvind Kejriwal and Bhagwant Mann.” Speaking at the party office in Chandigarh, Chadha said people voted for the Kejriwal model of governance. “God has blessed us with a great victory. We have to do a lot for the welfare of the people of Punjab,” he added.
Chadha said that under Mann’s leadership, Punjab will no longer be called Udta Punjab, but Uthta and Rangeela (emerging and colorful) Punjab. “Bhagwant Mann ki soch pe, pehra deyange thok ke (We will stick firmly to the ideology of Bhagwant Mann).”
“Victory is the sweetest when you get it after a loss,” he said. Despite a massive wave in its favor ahead of the 2017 elections, the AAP could ultimately only win 20 seats.