Sangrur bypoll: SAD (Amritsar)'s Simranjit Mann deals heavy blow to AAP

PTI | Chandigarh | Updated: 26-06-2022 16:51 IST | Created: 26-06-2022 16:51 IST
Sangrur bypoll: SAD (Amritsar)'s Simranjit Mann deals heavy blow to AAP
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SAD (Amritsar) Simranjit Singh Mann on Sunday won the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat, defeating his nearest rival, AAP's Gurmail Singh, by a margin of 5,822 votes and dealing a big blow to the ruling party in Punjab.

The AAP's failure to retain the seat, considered as its pocket borough as Bhagwant Mann had won it twice, comes just three months after it registered a resounding victory in the state assembly polls.

This also comes at a time when the AAP is aggressively campaigning for the upcoming assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh.

Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president and candidate Simranjit Mann, 77, won the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat after nearly 23 years.

He polled 2,53,154 votes, while Gurmail Singh secured 2,47,332 votes, as per official figures.

Congress candidate Dalvir Singh Goldy, BJP's Kewal Dhillon and the SAD's Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana were at the third, fourth and fifth spots respectively.

Goldy polled 79,668 votes, Dhillon 66,298 and Kaur 44,428, as per the poll result.

Conceding defeat, AAP spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang said, ''We respect the mandate of the people of Sangrur seat. We also congratulate Simranjit Singh Mann.'' The SAD (Amritsar) supporters celebrated on the roads of Sangrur, distributing 'ladoos' among the people.

Many were seen on cars and two-wheelers, raising slogans for their party leader.

The bypoll to the seat was necessitated due to the resignation of AAP's Bhagwant Mann from the Lok Sabha after he was elected as an MLA in the state assembly elections earlier this year.

Counting of votes began at 8 am on Sunday amid tight security arrangements.

The fate of 16 candidates who were in the fray was sealed during the polling on June 23.

The Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll had witnessed a low turnout of 45.30 per cent as against 72.44 per cent polling in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 76.71 in 2014.

There were 15.69 lakh eligible voters for the seat. The total number of valid votes polled is 7,08,448, and as many as 2,471 voters opted for NOTA (None of the above).

Simranjit Mann dedicated his victory to the people of Sangrur, to late actor-activist Deep Sidhu and slain Punjabi singer Shubhdeep Singh Sidhu, popularly known as Sidhu Moosewala, ''who gave their blood for the Sikh community''.

''This will have repercussions on India's politics. Many used to laugh and say 'what will Simranjit Singh Mann do'. They have been proved wrong today,'' Simranjit Mann said. ''Our party workers worked very hard.'' ''I am grateful to the voters of Sangrur for electing me as your representative in Parliament. I will work hard to ameliorate the sufferings of our farmers, farm-labour, traders and everyone in my constituency,'' he added.

Mann said he will raise their issues in Parliament to ensure the constituency's overall development.

In earlier rounds, Simranjit Mann and Gurmail were locked in a neck-and-neck fight but Mann maintained a slender lead.

The Aam Aadmi Party came to power in Punjab in March, registering a landslide win riding on 'badlav' (change).

In the 2014 and the 2019 polls, the Sangrur LS seat was held by AAP's Bhagwant Mann, who resigned as MP after being elected as MLA from Dhuri. He later become the state's chief minister.

The bypoll to the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat was the first major electoral battle for the AAP after its resounding victory in the state assembly polls.

Simranjit Mann had earlier been an MP from Tarn Taran in 1989 and from Sangrur in 1999.

During campaigning for the Sangrur bypoll, Mann's main poll plank was to secure the release of Sikh prisoners lodged in various prisons even after the expiry of their respective jail terms.

For the ruling AAP, the bypoll was seen as a battle of prestige for retaining its bastion, while the opposition Congress, BJP and the SAD were looking to register a victory after being decimated in the assembly polls.

The AAP had fielded Singh, 38, who is the party's Sangrur district in-charge while the Congress had placed its bet on former Dhuri MLA Goldy.

The BJP fielded former Barnala MLA Kewal Dhillon who joined the party early this month. The SAD had fielded Kamaldeep Kaur, the sister of Balwant Singh Rajoana, a convict in former Punjab chief minister Beant Singh's assassination case.

The Sangrur parliamentary constituency was considered an AAP bastion as the party won all its nine assembly segments in the assembly elections this year.

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

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