How Gandhis-led Congress lost Punjab bastion to anti-incumbency and infighting
Congress tumbled downhill in Punjab, with a major reduction in Assembly seats. Punjab has had a history of alternative governments, with Akalis & Congress being the key players. For Congress, it seems to be a story of voluntarily inviting a decline in Punjab political fortunes. Just 4-5 months before the election, congress replaced its Chief Minister in Punjab. Navjot Sidhu led a rebellion against Amarinder Singh, the Gandhis ousted captain as Punjab CM. Sidhu's rebellious ways continued even after Charanjit Channi was made the Chief Minister. Besides, Punjab Cong chief Sidhu's rebellion exposed the differences within Punjab Congress. The Gandhis' gamble on 'Dalit Sikh' didn't impress the voters (32% scheduled caste population in Punjab). All the infighting culminated in Cong failing to retain power in Punjab, the party stares at depleted fortunes.