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Congress success in Punjab comes with challenges

Having won seven of the thirteen parliamentary constituencies, it has given a fresh hope to the Congress of being a favourite for the 2027 assembly elections. However, in terms of vote share the Congress got almost the same percentage of votes as the AAP. While the AAP got 26 percent, the Congress got 26.4. 

News Arena Network - Chandigarh - UPDATED: June 8, 2024, 08:00 AM - 4 mins read

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with Punjab Pradesh Congress Chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring.

Congress success in Punjab comes with challenges

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi with Punjab Pradesh Congress Chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring.


With the success for the Congress in Punjab in the current General Elections, comes a serious challenge to the leadership as who is going to lead the party ahead of the 2027 assembly elections.

Having won seven of the thirteen parliamentary constituencies, it has given a fresh hope to the Congress of being a favourite for the 2027 assembly elections. However, in terms of vote share the Congress got almost the same percentage of votes as the AAP. While the AAP got 26 percent, the Congress got 26.4. 

In terms of the lead in the assembly segments there was not much difference either. While the AAP led from 33 assembly segments, the Congress led from 38.

That way, the Congress and the AAP have remained in a close fight, with the former having a slight edge. There is still half of the term of the AAP government left. That is a lot of time to make amends and corrections and cover up for various shortcomings.

The Congress will naturally have to adopt a more aggressive posture. Both the Congress and the AAP will have to keep in view the possibility of an Akali-BJP alliance for the 2027 assembly elections, which can turn out to be a formidable one. 

But that does not deter the Congress from hoping to storm back to power in 2027. In fact that holds true for all the parties to hope and aspire to win in the assembly elections.

While the external challenges are definitely there, the Congress will have to resolve the issue of leadership also. Right now, there are four contenders aiming to lead the Congress in the assembly elections.

Besides the incumbent PCC president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, there is the former Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi and former Deputy Chief Minister Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa. All the three have won the recent parliamentary elections from Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Gurdaspur respectively. Then there is Paratap Singh Bajwa, a perennial Chief Ministerial aspirant who missed the bus in 2017 and is currently the Congress Legislative Party leader/Leader of the Opposition in Punjab assembly.

Having led the party to an impressive victory and also having won himself in a prestigious election against the party deserter and three-time MP Ravneet Singh Bittu, the PCC president Warring may be very difficult to be replaced. As mentioned already, Congress won from seven constituencies, which indeed is a great feat. 

The Congress really cannot find a reason to replace Warring at this stage. But other aspirants like Channi, Bajwa and Randhawa will not give up their stakes either. The pot will keep on boiling. 

With Rahul Gandhi having emerged stronger, although he always wielded complete power over choice of Chief Ministers in states, and given his choice in places like Himachal and Telangana, there is a strong probability that Warring may have a reason to be optimistic. 

There are other multiple factors which also come into count at the time of appointment of the Chief Minister. After all, even Gandhi had to overlook his own choice for Chief Ministers in Karnataka and in the past in Rajasthan also.

Those challenges aside, the Congress has a tradition of fighting the election together against any opponent. That gives the party hope that with a strong team of stalwarts it can put up a strong fight.

Besides Warring, Bajwa, Channi and Randhawa, there is a group of strong and influential leaders in the party like Bharat Bhushan Ashu, Rana KP Singh, Rana Gurjeet Singh, OP Soni, Tripat Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukh Sarkaria, Brahm Mohindra, just to name a few.

This all does place the Congress in a commanding position in Punjab ahead of the assembly elections. But before that, the proverbial knives are certain to come out against each other, as at stake is not just the leadership of the party, but also the Chief Ministership as well.

The person leading the assembly election is assumed to be the Chief Ministerial candidate, and at almost every time the PCC president leading and winning the elections has ended up being the Chief Minister. 

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