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Taxes, inflation, need for another alternative led to BJP defeat: Residents

AAP has made an impact on city politics, say experts

Written by Saurabh Parashar | Chandigarh |
December 28, 2021 6:07:38 am
On Monday, representatives of various resident welfare associations blamed increasing taxes, high parking charges, low ranking in Swachhta, and inflation, among many reasons behind the sudden rise of AAP and the predicted downfall of the BJP. (Representational)

THE STUNNING performance of the Aam Adami Party (AAP) has caught many in Chandigarh by surprise. While many in Chandigarh expected AAP to make an impact and open its account, no one expected the party to win the highest number of seats and emerge as the winner in the civic polls.

On Monday, representatives of various resident welfare associations blamed increasing taxes, high parking charges, low ranking in Swachhta, and inflation, among many reasons behind the sudden rise of AAP and the predicted downfall of the BJP. Political analysts maintained that the AAP winning 14 of the 35 seats showed that the party had managed to woo urban voters also to a large extent.

Pardeep Chopra, secretary of Citizens’ Association, Sector 21, said, “We were confident that the AAP will mark its presence felt in the city politics this time. But we did not anticipate that they will win 14 seats. People were fed up with the increased garbage taxes, water tariffs, and parking fees. They started believing that the BJP and Congress are two sides of the same coin. They were in search of an alternative and they found it in the AAP.”

Amardeep Singh, President, RWA, Sector 39, said, “I am completely surprised with the performance of the AAP. Nobody had taken this party so seriously. But the party’s win shows its workers, leaders worked tirelessly. Big changes always come when people work silently. No doubt, local issues, especially the dumping ground problem, for which Congress and BJP are equally responsible, played a crucial role in the emergence of AAP. Three BJP Mayors lost their seats, meaning the people have rejected the BJP completely.”

President of FOSWAC, the largest citizens’ body, Baljinder Bittu, said, “This change was expected. Local residents were feeling suffocated with increased parking fees, garbage tax. What we didn’t expect was the AAP emerging as the largest party with maximum winning candidates.”

However, political science Professor Pampa Mukherjee in PU, said three reasons led to the emergence of AAP. She says, “First, the AAP managed to woo urban voters. Second, people found an alternative to the BJP and Congress. Third, the AAP managed to sell its Delhi model of development.”

Prof Mukherjee added, “We should not think that the city civic body poll results will make an impact on Punjab politics, where the issues are different.”

Prof (Emeritus) Bhupinder Singh Brar, said, “The results show that the days of ideological polarization voting is behind us, at least in Chandigarh. Personal equations matter in the civic body election. AAP has made its place in a particular class and its impact in the city’s politics is here to stay.”

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