Campaigning ends for high-stakes Sangrur LS bypoll

PTI | Sangrur | Updated: 21-06-2022 19:18 IST | Created: 21-06-2022 19:18 IST
Campaigning ends for high-stakes Sangrur LS bypoll
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The campaigning for the high-stakes Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll in Punjab came to an end at 6 pm on Tuesday.

A multi-cornered contest is expected in the bypoll, which will be held on Thursday (June 23).

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, who took out a roadshow with AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Monday, addressed several poll meetings on the last day of campaigning.

The Sangrur Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after Mann contested the Assembly polls held earlier in the year from Dhuri and won.

Returning Officer Jitendra Jorwal had earlier said there were 15,69,240 eligible voters -- 8,30,056 men, 7,39,140 women and 44 transgenders -- in the constituency.

A total of 16 candidates -- 13 men and three women -- are in the fray.

Polling will take place from 8 am to 6 pm on Thursday and the counting of votes will be taken up on June 26.

This will be the first major electoral battle for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) since it came to power in Punjab earlier this year.

The AAP has fielded Gurmail Singh, the party's Sangrur district in-charge, while the Congress has placed its bets on former Dhuri MLA Dalvir Singh Goldy in the bypoll.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded former Barnala MLA Kewal Dhillon, who joined the saffron party on June 4.

Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann is also in the fray.

Kamaldeep Kaur, the sister of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh's assassination case, has been fielded by the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD).

Addressing a poll meeting on the last day of campaigning, Mann thanked the voters of the constituency for sending him to Parliament twice (2014 and 2019) and making him the chief minister, and expressed confidence that ''the revolutionary people of Sangrur will once again vote for a common man and the AAP's Gurmail Singh will win the bypoll with a thumping majority''.

He said unlike the opposition, the AAP is contesting the bypoll on issues, including providing jobs to youngsters, developing schools and hospitals, eradicating corruption and mafia elements, to pave the way for a ''Rangla (vibrant) Punjab'' again.

While the Congress, the BJP and the SAD hit out at the AAP dispensation during the campaigning over the ''deteriorating'' law-and-order situation in the state, the chief minister lashed out at the opposition parties for making a ''hue and cry'' and said Punjab is in safe hands now and the law-and-order scenario is completely under control.

''The social bonds among the people of Punjab are very strong. We live in an atmosphere of brotherhood and those who spread hatred have no place here,'' Mann said talking to reporters here.

Asserting that all the perpetrators involved in the gruesome killing of Punjabi singer Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, popularly known as Sidhu Moosewala, would be nabbed soon, he said the state government is thoroughly probing the case in association with central agencies and five other states.

Apart from law and order, the opposition parties have slammed the AAP government over ''unfulfilled promises''.

The SAD has raised the issue of Sikh prisoners and called for the release of all the prisoners who are in jails even after the completion of their life sentences.

''We are fighting for 'bandi Singhs' (Sikh prisoners) and it is a fight for justice,'' SAD president Sukhbir Badal has repeatedly said during the campaigning.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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