Sangrur LS bypoll: Stakes high, AAP faces first major poll battle after coming to power in Punjab

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 22-06-2022 14:40 IST | Created: 22-06-2022 14:40 IST
Sangrur LS bypoll: Stakes high, AAP faces first major poll battle after coming to power in Punjab
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Bypolls for the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat will be held on Thursday, with the ruling AAP facing its first test of popularity after its impressive performance in the assembly polls.

The polls come at a time when the AAP is facing opposition heat over the law and order issue and the killing of singer Sidhu Moosewala.

Candidates fielded by the Congress, BJP and SAD are hoping to cause an election upset while the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is looking to repeat its feat of the 2022 assembly polls in which it won all nine assembly segments under the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat.

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann campaigned extensively and also took out a roadshow with AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Monday urging voters to elect party candidate Gurmail Singh, party's Sangrur district in-charge.

The CM 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''.

During his poll campaign in Sangrur, the CM 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.

The poll campaigning for the high-stakes bypoll ended on Tuesday evening.

The main opposition Congress has fielded former Dhuri MLA Dalvir Singh Goldy in the bypoll while 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).

The Sangrur Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after Bhagwant Mann contested the February 20 Assembly polls from Dhuri and won.

Bhagwant Mann had won the Sangrur seat in 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections and resigned as MP after he won the Dhuri assembly seat.

The Sangrur LS seat was earlier represented by Bhagwant Mann. Of the remaining 12 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, the Congress has eight members, while two each are of the BJP and SAD.

The Congress, the BJP and the SAD had hit out at the AAP dispensation during the campaigning over the ''deteriorating'' law and order situation in the state and also raised the killing of Punjabi singer Moosewala.

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

Punjab Congress president Amarinder Singh Raja Warring had said the Sangrur bypoll will be a wake-up call for the AAP in the state and that it cannot take the people of Punjab for granted.

Goldy had earlier said that if elected, he will forcefully raise the voice of people in Parliament and work for overall development of the constituency.

BJP's Kewal Dhillon had said people gave a big mandate to the AAP, but the party failed to give good governance to the people. Punjab's law and order situation is worsening while the fiscal situation too is bad, Dhillon had said, even as he projected several achievements of the Narendra Modi government at the Centre.

The SAD has raised the issue of Sikh prisoners and called for the release of those in jails even after the completion of their life sentence.

''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.

There are 15,69,240 eligible voters -- 8,30,056 men, 7,39,140 women and 44 transgenders -- in the Sangrur parliamentary constituency.

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

Amid tight security, the polling will take place from 8 am to 6 pm and the counting of votes will be taken up on June 26.

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

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