With his party running an intense campaign in poll-bound Punjab, senior AAP leader Manish Sisodia on Sunday exuded confidence of winning a complete majority and forming a “full-fledged” government in the neighbouring state.
The general sentiment in Punjab is that the ‘Arvind Kejriwal’s style of politics’ should be given a chance this time, Sisodia told this newspaper. “People have lost faith in the Congress and they don’t want to return to the Akali Dal either. In this scenario, the pulse among the masses is that the AAP is the only viable political alternative which must be given a chance this time,” he added.
People have become tired of the same old politics that offers no real change in their lives, he claimed. “They now want to opt for a government that works for them and not one that is embroiled in their own politics.”
In 2017, the AAP was second with 20 seats while the SAD bagged 15 seats and the BJP managed to win just three seats. Congress, on the other hand, had won 77 seats and, in the process, brought down the curtain on the 10-year rule of the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine government.
The AAP is hoping to be second time lucky next year given that the Congress’ Punjab unit is in turmoil due to the clash between PCC president Navjot Singh Sidhu and erstwhile chief minister Amarinder Singh. Sidhu has been blowing hot and cold with Amarinder’s successor Charanjit Singh Channi as well.
The AAP has been running an aggressive campaign with its top leadership wooing people by replicating the Delhi style of governance — from promising 300 units of free electricity per month for each household to waiving off pending power bills and reforming schools, if voted to power.
Regarding the reforms ushered in by the AAP government, Sisodia made mention of the recently launched ‘Business Blasters Program’. The initiative allows students of Classes XI and XII across all government schools to be mentored and provided financial capital of Rs 2,000 as seed money to help kick-start their business ideas.
With this project, Sisodia said, he hopes to give rise to some of the world’s top companies in the country itself. “So far, the best talent from India is picked up by top companies abroad, be it Twitter or Google. My dream is to make world’s top companies here in this country. These students from our schools, who will go to college with their start-ups already operating, will create some top ranking companies.”
The top ten ideas of students will be presented before investors in an investment summit in February-March, he said, adding that it would become an annual feature from next year onwards.