Chandigarh: Winning 77 seats in the 117-member Vidhan Sabha, the Congress on Saturday made a resounding comeback in Punjab. After a ten-year rule, the SAD-led alliance could get just 18 seats which included three seats of BJP, and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), against all hype of clean sweep, got restricted at 22 mark that included two seats of its ally Lok Insaf Party (LIP). It is pertinent to mention that in 2012 Assembly elections, the SAD had won 56 seats and its ally BJP 12 seats. Congress had won 46 and the remaining three seats had gone to Independents.
Admitting the defeat with humility, SAD patriarch and Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal declared that he would be submitting his resignation to Governor V P Singh Badnore on Sunday. Badal also congratulated Amarinder for the success, while SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal assured Amarinder to extend full cooperation on all pro-Punjab matters.
About his party’s ‘unexpected’ defeat, Sukhbir said that he would analyse the things in due course, whereas the political analysts counted improper handling of sacrilege issues and the Opposition’s campaign related to drugs, transport and sand mafia as the major reasons. Among key candidates, Congress party’s chief ministerial candidate Amarinder Singh won the Patiala seat with a huge margin of 52,407 votes as he defeated his nearest rival AAP candidate Balbir Singh. SAD candidate and former Army Chief J J Singh finished third by securing 11,677 votes.
Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal won from his traditional Lambi seat defeating his nearest rival Congress candidate Captain Amarinder Singh by 22,770 votes. Badal polled 66,375 votes while Amarinder from Lambi secured 43,605 votes. While the ruling family’s powerful trio-Badal, Sukhbir, Bikram Singh Majithia-won the polls, Badal’s son-in-law Adesh Partap Singh Kairon was not lucky enough. The results were a shock for many more heavy weights of SAD, including majority of the ministers, who failed to find favour from electors. Cabinet minister Gulzar Singh Ranike bit the dust from his Attari seat, Tota Singh lost from Dharamkot, Janmeja Singh Sekhon from Maur, Sikander Singh Maluka from Rampura Phul, Surjit Singh Rakhra from Samana and Sohan Singh Thandal from Chhabewal. Former CLP leader Sunil Kumar Jakhar lost Abohar seat, which was holding for past 15 years to BJP candidate Arun Narang. Another party veteran Mohinder Singh Kaypee lost from Adampur, businessman-turned-politician Kewal Dhillon lost his traditional Barnala seat, singer-turned-politician Mohammad Sadiq lost from Jaitu. Another strong Congressman Jagmohan Singh Kang bit the dust after losing his traditional Kharar seat to journalist-turned-politician Kanwar Sandhu of AAP.
Further, former Chief Minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal lost out on luck in her traditional seat Lehragagga to SAD’s Parminder Singh Dhindsa. Former Chief Minister Harcharan Singh Brar’s daughter-in-law Karan Kaur lost her Muktsar seat to Kanwarjit Singh of SAD. The results also came as shocker for many of senior AAP leaders as they failed to win their own seats. Bhagwant Mann, who was dreaming to be the CM, lost to Sukhbir from Jalalabad, while Gurpreet Singh Ghuggi himself couldn’t win. Jernail Singh Khalsa, who contested against Parkash Singh Badal, after resigning from Delhi Assembly, also failed here.
Meanwhile, Captain Amarinder Singh said on Saturday that he was committed to good governance. “Committed to good governance, tackling drug menace, besides health and education will be priority,” Singh said. “People of Punjab want development,” he said.
For more news updates Follow and Like us on Facebook