Jalandhar:Even as the Congress emerged with flying colours in 15 out of the total 23 seats in Doaba region, it lost two Dalit dominated constituencies in a bid to adjust a senior party leader from the region. The congress won majority of Dalit seats barring Adampur, Phillaur, Banga and Phagwara constituencies of Doaba belt of Punjab.
Congress lost both Adampur and Banga seats, after it fielded former Jalandhar MP Mohinder Singh Kaypee from Adampur (reserve) seat. Being a senior party leader, Kaypee had not applied for the ticket too. While Congress leader Satnam Singh Kainth kept working in Adampur, the party fielded him from Banga (reserve) seat.
Similarly, Congress ignored the sitting MLA Tarlochan Singh Soond from his home constituency Banga, which in led to the defeat of Kainth. SAD’s Dr Sukhwinder Singh Sukhi won from Banga seat. Left hurt at the party’s decision, Tarlochan Soond contested as an independent from this constituency, upsetting the prospects of Kainth.
Though Banga was the ancestral town of Satnam Kainth, the last minute decision to change his seat led to his defeat. On the other hand, Kaypee was seeking a ticket from his home seat Jalandhar West (reserve) but considering his previous two defeats, he was
fielded from Adampur constituency. Till the time the tickets were allotted, Kainth kept working in Adampur and led a show of might with his supporters.
Party insiders believe that had Kainth been fielded from Adampur, the Congress would have easily won the seat. “Despite a strong anti-incumbency wave, sitting SAD MLA Pawan Kumar Tinu won, which was the result of fielding an outsider and ignoring Kainth from Adampur,” said Congress workers.
On the other hand, the Congress relied on green horn candidate Sushil Kumar Rinku in Jalandhar West, who won by an impressive 53983 votes defeating BJP candidate Mohinder Bhagat. Another seat, which the Congress lost was Phillaur (reserve) constituency, which was the home turf of Jalandhar MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary. The Jalandhar MP’s son Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary got the ticket at the last moment from Phillaur but he failed to
make a mark.
Phillaur constituency witnessed a four cornered contest between SAD, Congress, BSP and AAP. SAD candidate Baldev Singh Khaira won by 41,336 votes defeating Congress candidate Vikramjit Singh Chaudhary who got 37,859 votes. “This was the third consecutive defeat of Santokh Singh Chaudhary’s family in their home turf. Chaudhary lost in the 2007, 2012 and the 2017 assembly elections,” said a party leader. Similarly, the party lost Phagwara seat where it fielded experienced leader Joginder Singh Mann.