Gurdaspur bypoll: Congress wrests seat from BJP, AAP loses deposit

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Congress party’s Sunil Jakhar has taken a huge lead of 1.82 lakh votes in the counting for Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bypolls.

After the counting, Congress secured 4,99,752 votes, BJP, 3,06,533 while AAP had received 23,579 votes. VVPAT machines were used with EVMs for the Lok Sabh bypolls.

 

Punjab chief minister, Captain Amarinder Singh, tweeted saying that every single election promise of Jakhar will be fulfilled by his government.

His tweet said, ‘Assure people of #Gurdaspur that every single promise made by @sunilkjakhar will be fulfilled and all development works will be fast-tracked”

Singh also said that the win in Gurdaspur will be a huge step towards revival of the Congress party in India.

He said, “The #Gurdaspur by-election marks another major step in the revival of @INCIndia, it’s clear that party is on upswing ahead of 2019 LS polls”

This election was also being termed as a test of popularity for Singh’s six-month-old government.

Reacting to the historic performance in Gurdaspur, otherwise a BJP bastion, Navjot Singh Sidhu said, “This is a beautiful Diwali gift, packed with a red ribbon, for our would be party president Rahul Gandhi.”

He added that the echo of this slap will be heard far and wide.

Jakhar for his part said, “People of Gurdaspur have sent a strong message of their resentment to policies pursued by Modi Ji led Centre.”

The bypoll, a triangular contest, was held on 11 October, and is being seen as a test of popularity for the state’s newly elected Congress government. The results will also indicate if the Am Aadmi Party has been able to recover from a below-par performance in the assembly elections. AAP, meanwhile, has already conceded its defeat.

The party then also announced it was dissolving its units in Gurdaspur and Pathankot districts with immediate effect, reported Hindustan Times.

The seat fell vacant following the death of BJP MP Vinod Khanna in April this year.The Congress has nominated its Punjab unit president Sunil Jakhar, a loyalist of Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, as its candidate, while the BJP decided to field Swaran Singh Salaria as its candidate. Salaria, 58, hails from Chauhana village of Bhoa assembly segment and is a member of the BJP’s National Executive.

Salaria was also embroiled in controversy just before the voting after a woman claimed that she had been sexually exploited by him for 32 years on the pretext of marriage.

The margin of BJP’s victory here in 2014 was more than one lakh. Experts say that the results of Gurdaspur will have considerable impact on the assembly elections in Himachal Pradesh and Gujarat.

The results here will also be a test for Captain Amarinder Singh, who had won a landslide in the assembly elections earlier this year.

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