AAP concedes defeat in Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll; SAD (A) candidate Simranjit Mann inching toward victory


PTI, Jun 26, 2022, 3:05 PM IST

Simranjit Singh Mann

Simranjit Singh MannChandigarh: The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Sunday conceded defeat in the Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll and congratulated Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) candidate Simranjit Singh Mann.

Addressing the media, AAP spokesperson Malvinder Singh Kang said the result of the Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll has come.

”We respect the mandate of the people of Sangrur seat. We also congratulate Simranjit Singh Mann on his victory,” he said.

The Election Commission, however, is yet to declare the bypoll result.

SAD (A) candidate Simranjit Mann inching toward victory

SAD (Amritsar) Simranjit Singh Mann appears to be inching towards victory from the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat, having gained a lead of over 7,000 votes over his nearest AAP rival Gurmail Singh.

Counting of votes for the bypoll to the high-stakes Sangrur Lok Sabha was nearing completion.

According to the trends available at 1330 hrs, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) candidate Simranjit Singh Mann has so far polled 2,50,174 while AAP’s Gurmail Singh secured 2,43,122 votes.

In earlier rounds, both the contestants were locked in a neck and neck fight though Mann had maintained a slender lead over Gurmail.

If Simranjit Singh Mann wins, it will mean a setback for the ruling AAP, which had come to power in Punjab registering a landslide win riding on ‘badlav’ (change).

Simranjit Singh Mann, 77, is a former MP and the president of SAD (Amritsar). Sensing victory, SAD (Amritsar) leader’s supporters had already started celebrating in Sangrur. Congress candidate Dalvir Singh Goldy, BJP’s Kewal Dhillon and SAD’s Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana were at the third, fourth and fifth spots respectively, the trends showed.

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 polling on June 23.

The bypoll to Sangrur Lok Sabha seat had witnessed a low turnout of 45.30 percent 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 this time.

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

Bhagwant Mann, who is the state’s chief minister now, had won the Sangrur seat in the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections.

The bypoll to Sangrur Lok Sabha seat is the first major electoral battle after the Aam Aadmi Party’s resounding victory in the state assembly polls in March this year.

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

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

The BJP fielded former Barnala MLA Kewal Dhillon who joined the party early this month.

Sangrur parliamentary constituency is considered as the bastion of the Aam Aadmi Party which won all the nine assembly segments –Lehra, Dirba, Barnala, Sunam, Bhadaur, Mehal Kalan, Malerkotla, Dhuri and Sangrur in the 2022 assembly elections.

Bhagwant Mann had won the Sangrur seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls after defeating SAD candidate Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa with a margin of 2.11 lakh votes.

Mann again contested the 2019 Lok Sabha polls from Sangrur and won it by a margin of 1.10 lakh votes after defeating Congress party’s Kewal Dhillon.

While the opposition parties—Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal and BJP took on the AAP for the alleged deteriorating law and order situation, brutal murder of famous singer Sidhu Moosewala, “unfulfilled” poll promises, the ruling party focused on eradicating corruption, giving jobs to youngsters, improving condition of schools and hospitals, pave the way for a ”Rangla (vibrant) Punjab” again.

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