The Indian Express conducted an interview with Shirmoani Akali Dal (Amritsar) Head Simranjit Singh Mann where he’s quoted to have said, “SAD (A) is set to contest the polls. When you get support from the masses, it is important to convert it into a victory. Considering the overwhelming support we got during the Sarbat Khalsa, it is going be a landslide victory for us.”
This is a dangerous delusion given the statistics from the 2012 elections and the demographics of Punjab. Sikhs are a majority in the state at 60%, whereas the remaining 40% of the vote is divided among Hindus, Muslims, Christians, and others. However, a joint coalition with other parties would give far better results.
Despite gaining momentum from the Sarbat Khalsa, a land slide victory would be far from the reality if we took a look at the 2012 election results.
The voted electorate of Punjab stood at 13,901,424 and SAD(Amritsar) received 31,106 votes which is only 0.28% of the total vote.
Japnaam Singh from Canada provides an insight:
In the last Punjab elections in 2012, Mann’s party got less than 1% of the vote. Their maximum vote take in any constituency was 2.9% where Mann himself was the candidate.
In most constituencies where a candidate ran, the party’s vote total was far less than 1%. In around half the constituencies, they couldn’t even attract a candidate to run. 2012 election results speak volumes: Results (detailed results starting at page 135).
From less than 1% to landslide victory? Highly unlikely.
A few questions come to mind:
What would be the strategy to get non-Sikh votes who make up 40% of the electorate? What is the strategy to even unify Sikh votes?
It genuinely seems like our political class in Punjab operates in a fantasy land driven by endless ambition and a healthy detachment from the reality on the ground (to the detriment of the Panth and Panthic interests).
Perhaps the the only way a Sikh party can gain the confidence of the electorate is by forming a new party which should also cater to minorities.