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What Punjab Civic Poll Results Mean for Congress and Others and Chinese-Style Crony Capitalism

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Congressional Candidates Celebrate in Bathinda After Winning Majority in Punjab Municipal Elections on February 17, 2021 |  Twitter / @ SevadalPB
Congressional Candidates Celebrate in Bathinda After Winning Majority in Punjab Municipal Elections on February 17, 2021 | Twitter / @ SevadalPB

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New Delhi: ThePrint editor-in-chief Shekhar Gupta spoke about two major developments in episode 685 of Cut the Clutter. First, the results of the Punjab municipal elections and second, the crony capitalism in China in the latter, he takes off from a previous episode (649) where he explained how Ant Group founder Jack Ma was cut to the waist by Chinese President Xi Jinping. Here, he explained why Xi Jinping sued Jack Ma.

Turning to the Punjab, he said it was an important election for a local civilian body due to the agitation by farmers and also because of the rumors and separatist forces, which are on the rise. He explained that the medium and small towns in Punjab voted in the municipal elections and that it was a “staggering” result as Congress had almost cleaned up. Gupta explained that the party was destined to win up to 90 percent of the seats.

“This is something quite remarkable in Punjab,” he said, noting that Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) was doing very badly but this could be comforted by the fact that the other two parties, the BJP and the Aam Aadmi party, were almost wiped out.

Results of municipal elections in Punjab

Speaking on the municipal election results, Gupta said the farmers’ unrest was already starting to have a big impact on Punjab politics, a year before the national elections, despite the presence of the Congressional government for some time. , there was no anti-exit. (based on these election results).

In BJP strongholds such as Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Hoshiarpur and other towns, the party had been defeated, Gupta said. The election results told us some things, he added, that many Hindus in the Punjab, who made up 40% of the population, were now voting in Congress. This was because they thought the AAP was a party favorable to radical Sikhs and did not trust Akali Dal.

Second, the breakdown of the partnership between BJP and SAD was disadvantageous for both. Third, there was a lot of anger among farmers in the state, especially Sikh farmers. They were not willing to vote for Akali Dal as they were partners with the BJP earlier and (they) did not yet see a sufficient distance between the two.

Gupta explained that the BJP was the state’s “biggest loser” and the AAP the “second biggest loser”.

He explained that the only political party that had leverage in the state was the Congress Party and that the lesson for Rahul Gandhi was that he had to make full use of a powerful chief minister of the state, namely the captain Amarinder Singh, and not to let his stronghold on the state is destroyed.

Gupta also said that, on the electoral front, although the BJP is not worried about the Punjab, it was more concerned about the growing anger among the Hindu Jats of Haryana, western Uttar Pradesh. and Rajasthan and therefore did everything to maintain this fortress.

Crony capitalism in China

Regarding China, Gupta mentioned names in addition to Jack Ma, founder of Ali Baba, and Xi Jinping, who were important in understanding crony capitalism in China. He chose Lingling Wei, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and wrote about it.

Based on his WSJ article, Gupta explained that Xi Jinping pursued Jack Ma not only because of his ego but also because of politics. He said: “Politics is behind everything and behind politics lie deep insecurities. And this gives birth to crony capitalism.

He explained that even before Jack Ma’s IPO, which never took place, the Chinese central government was already investigating Jack Ma’s companies, especially the ANT group. It was because of his many investors and friends who were in fact people of Chinese political culture, called “princelings”. “The princelings,” explained Gupta, “were the sons, daughters, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren of former Chinese Communist Party bosses who were making a lot of money.

Xi was concerned that many ‘princelings’ would make billions from Jack Ma’s IPO and that this would call into question or could potentially threaten his power, even though Jinping had reduced many of these ‘princelings’ ‘to their size.

Gupta explained more about the ANT Group, its subsidiaries and the company’s stock holders. He said that close friends of Jack Ma had invested in the Ant group and called themselves the Shanghai faction. And it was these partners of Jack Ma who made Xi Jinping insecure. Jack Ma was already a larger than life character and if he got any taller, Jinping thought he might pose a challenge to him.

Gupta concluded by describing the two sides of crony capitalism: “One is when you help your pals grow up. But the flip side of the same crony capitalism is when you block the growth of those you don’t like or see as friends.


Also read: Punjab civic poll results kill hopes of AAP resurgence as Congress wins big


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