Will it be repeat for Akalis in Punjab?

With a record 77 percent of 1.76 crore electorates casting their votes for the 117 Assembly seats of Punjab, fingers are crossed for both the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-BJP alliance and Congress over formation of next government in the state.

However, a look at the data of the Election Commission on polling percentages after Independence from 1951 to 2007, it has been revealed that Akalis have formed the government if the polling in Assembly elections exceeds 70 per cent which has happened thrice earlier.

The state has earlier witnessed over 70 per cent polling in 1967 (71.18 percent), 1969 (72.27 percent) and 2007 (75.45 percent) following which the SAD wrested power.


The polling exceeded 65 per cent on six occasions and again the Akalis romped home to victory on four occasions in 1972 (68.63 percent), 1977 (65.37 percent), 1985 (67.53 percent) and 1997 (68.73 percent) while in remaining two 1972 (68.63 percent) and 2002 (65.14 percent) the Congress returned to power.

The Congress had wrested power in case of polling being less than 65 percent as was evident in 1951 (57.85 percent), 1957 (57.72 percent), 1962 (63.44 percent) and 1980 (64.33 percent).

The 1992 poll was boycotted by the Akalis and the Congress had returned to power in the Assembly elections which saw the lowest polling 23.82 percent.

In 2007 the polling percentage was 75.45 percent which made Parkash Singh Badal as the Chief Minister of the state for the fourth time, while Gurnam Singh of SAD took the coveted post after 72.27 percent polling in 1969.

At the 1967 hustings, the polling percentage was 71.18 percent and it was Gurnam Singh of SAD, who took oath as the Chief Minister of the state. He was the first candidate from the then United Front government which replaced Congress from the seat.

When the polling was 68.73 percent in 1997 it was Parkash Singh Badal who became the Chief Minister of the state. While in 1985 when the polling percentage was 67.53 SAD's Surjit Singh Barnala was the Chief Minister.

Not only this, in 1977 the polling percentage was 65.37 and it was Parkash Singh Badal who sat on the coveted post.

After having a look at poll percentages from 1951 to 2007, out of total 13 Assembly polls, six times the Chief Minister was given by the Akalis.

In case of Congress party, Partap Singh Kairon repeated two consecutive terms in 1957 and 1962 with the state registering 57.72 and 63.44 percent polling respectively.

Zail Singh of Congress became the Chief Minister in 1972 after the state registered 68.63 per cent polling whereas Darbara Singh of Congress got the coveted post in 1980 when the state recorded 64.33 per cent of polling.

At the 2002 hustings, Amarinder Singh of Congress became the Chief Minister when the polling was recorded at 65.14 percent.


Updated Date: Jan 31, 2012 14:29 PM

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