Punjab: SAD, Cong Lead the Race in Assembly Bypolls
Ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and Congress won one seat each in the by-polls to Patiala (urban) and Talwandi Sabo Assembly seats today but the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) finished a poor third.
It was a gain for ruling SAD which fought a strong anti-incumbency factor to wrest control over Talwandi Sabo seat from the Congress.
Both Patiala (urban) and Talwandi Sabo seats were with the Congress before they fell vacant.
Patiala seat fell vacant after sitting Congress MLA and former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh got elected to Lok Sabha from Amritsar, whereas Talwandi Sabo Assembly seat faced by-poll as sitting Congress MLA Jeet Mohinder Sidhu deserted the party to join the ruling SAD.
Talwandi Sabo Assembly under Bathinda district was retained by SAD's Harsimrat Kaur Badal, wife of Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal in the recently held Lok Sabha polls. After the election, Harsimrat was given a ministerial berth in the Narendra Modi cabinet.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his son Sukhbir had campaigned vigorously in Talwandi Sabo leaving no stone unturned to ensure the victory of party candidate and "turncoat" Sidhu.
Patiala's royal family maintained its stronghold on Patiala seat, considered to be the strong bastion of the family.
After retaining Patiala seat, Amarinder Singh had emerged as a strong leader of the party in Punjab. He had limited his campaigning for his wife in the run up to the by-polls to Patiala seat.
Preneet, a three time MP was defeated by AAP's Dharamvira Gandhi in the Lok Sabha polls.
While Amarinder preferred to campaign for his wife, his bete noire and Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa confined his campaigning to Talwandi Sabo.
AAP which sprung a surprise in the recently held Lok Sabha polls by winning four out of total 13 seats in Punjab, performed badly in the by-polls as its candidates finished third.
Preneet, wife of former chief minister Amarinder Singh, won over her nearest SAD rival by a margin of over 23,282 votes, an election office spokesman said.
Kaur polled 52,967 votes, SAD nominee Bhagwan Dass Juneja 29,685 and AAP candidate Harjit S Adaltiwala 5,724 votes. AAP's candidate lost his security deposit, an election office spokesman said.
Patiala's SAD candidate Juneja not only lost the poll, his son died of cardiac arrest last night. Keeping this in mind, Preneet canceled her victory procession and expressed sympathies with the bereaved family.
In Talwandi Sabo, SAD's Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu won by a margin of 46,642 votes against his nearest Congress rival Harminder Singh Jassi, a former Congress MLA and close relative of Haryana's Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda sect Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.
According to an election office spokesman, Sidhu polled 71,747 votes, Jassi 25,105, AAP's Baljinder Kaur 13,899.
Balkar Singh, who was first declared as party candidate by AAP and later replaced by Baljinder Kaur, polled 6,305 votes.
Sidhu was once a close associate of Amarinder Singh.
While a total of eight contestants fought for Patiala seat, seven candidates contested from Talwandi Sabo.
Both the seats witnessed a triangular contest between SAD, Congress and AAP.
In the 117-member Punjab Assembly, ruling SAD's strength had increased to 57 MLAs, while its ally BJP has 12, Congress moved to 45 members and independents three.
After the results, SAD fell one short of getting simple majority as it needed a win on both the assembly seats for it. SAD has alliance with BJP in the state. The by-polls to the two seats were held on August 21.
While Talwandi Sabo, which falls under Bathinda Lok Sabha constituency from where Sukhbir's wife Harsimrat Kaur won, had witnessed 82.34 per cent turnout, 60 per cent polling was recorded in Patiala seat, a traditional bastion of Patiala royal family of Amarinder.
Meanwhile, reacting over the by-poll results, Punjab's AAP spokesman H S Phoolka said that the party welcomes the peoples' verdict.
"AAP is there to provide an alternative to the people and also clean politics...It is for the people to decide what they want," he said, adding that AAP was not greedy for posts.
"People wanted change in the political system that is why the AAP existed," he said.
Both Preneet and Sidhu asserted that they would fight for the cause of their respective assembly segments in the Vidhan Sabha.
FROM OUTLOOKCongressAs the elections approach, expectations are high in the Congress that the Gandhi bahu will give a call...more from outlook>>>
FROM THE WEBPoliticsFormer Uttar Pradesh Congress President Rita Bahugmore from WEB>>>
FROM WIRESNew Delhi, July 23 (pti) Mohan Prakash, former genmore from WIRES>>>
- Govt Plans to Further Liberalize Visa Regime to Boost Tourism: Swaraj
- Teesta Setalvad Liable for Mixing Religion With Politics: HRD Panel
- SP Appears on Brink of Split as CM Sacks Shivpal, Mulayam Expels Ramgopal
- Now, Adult Film Star Accuses Trump of Sexual Harassment
- BSF Jawan Gurnam Singh Injured in Pak Attack Succumbs to Injuries
- ADHM Row: Army Upset Over Being Dragged Into Film Politics, Rejects Forced Donation
- Should You Be Worried About H5N8 Bird Flu? A Quick Guide To The Alphabet Soup
- Watch: The Trailer of Hugh Jackman's Last Wolverine Film, Logan
- Daily Curator: It's All About The Family
- Daily Curator: All That Chest Thumping Can Accomplish
- This 'Chaiwala' From Pakistan First Broke The Internet; Now He Has A Modelling Contract
- Daily Curator: How To Burn A Hole In Your Food Pipe And Other Stories
- Kabaddi Player Rohit Kumar Sent to Judicial Custody in Wife's Suicide Case
- Not Just a Business Partner, But an Ally Who Stood By India in its Darkest Hours: Russia
- Two Explosions Hit Japanese City in Suspected Suicide Bombing, One Killed
- My Removal From Govt an Attempt to Weaken SP Leadership: Shivpal
- Reports Say Queen Elizabeth Faces Massive Post-Brexit Losses
- Rajnath Singh Leaves for Three-Day Visit to Bahrain, to Raise Pak Issue
- MOST VIEWED
- MOST COMMENTED
- BJP Wants To Make India a Hindu Rashtra, Owaisi Attacks PM for His 'Jai Shri Ram' Greeting
- Injected With Petrol Into Their Private Parts, UP Teenagers Still Await Surgery
- Scenes With Ranbir in Ae Dil Hai Mushkil Not Frivolous Sensuality: Aishwarya
- Muslim Woman Refuses to Accept Triple Talaq Notice by Husband
- Notice to Katju on Petition Against His Blog Post on Beef
- Following Rajnath Singh's Orders, Delhi Police Forms SIT to Trace Missing JNU Student
- Discriminatory Practises Cannot Be Held Integral to Freedom of Religion: Law Minister on Triple Talaq
- Congress' Rita Bahuguna Joins BJP, Hits Out at Rahul for 'Khoon Ki Dalali'