AAP wrests Jalandhar from Congress to win semi-finals of 2024 general elections
True to expectations that it is difficult to defeat the ruling party in a bye election, AAP has done it.
True to expectations that it is difficult to defeat the ruling party in a bye election, AAP has done it. It has won the Jalandhar Lok Sabha by poll in style defeating the incumbent Congress by nearly 60,000 votes in a quadrangular contest that saw the SAD-BSP alliance climbing a step while the BJP, ruling party at the centre, finished fourth in a fierce contest. Logistic aberrations apart, the poll was conducted in a peaceful manner on May 10 witnessing a little more than 54 percent polling.
They say all is fair in love and war. So are the electoral battles for political supremacy.
In fact May 13 turned out to be a political revival day for Congress as it stormed back to power in Karnataka pushing BJP to the second spot.
The Just concluded Jalandhar Lok Sabha by poll has reiterated the roar of rulers while remaining cry hoarse. All opposition parties in Punjab accused AAP of misusing state machinery, including police, besides violating the conventions of prohibiting presence of outsiders in the poll area, the results nullified all allegations.
AAP has been successful in putting behind the Sangrur Lok Sabha bye election reverse. It has also improved its vote share in Jalandhar, the stronghold of Dalits by taking its tally from four to seven of nine Lok Sabha segments.
Sushil Kumar Rinku, who changed loyalties from Congress to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) just on eve of the crucial by poll, turned out to be a trump card in a battle that featured three sitting or ex-legislators besides the widow of the incumbent. He has now almost a year, 11 months to be precise, to prove himself as a new leader in a riding where Congress remained victorious in five of eight last Lok Sabha elections. It is this constituency that once elected Indian Prime Minister, Inder Kumar Gujral, on Janata Dal ticket with the support of Shiromani Akali Dal.
Stakes were high as all four main claimants to the seat for the remainder of the term went all out to win the mandate of this hot bed of Dalit politics. Congress, first to announce its candidate, named Karamjit Kaur, widow of Chaudhary Santokh Singh, whose untimely death led to this by poll.
Chaudhary family has been a dominant and popular political family of the Doab and has perhaps more legislative representations than any other single Dalit family in the state.
Groupism in the Punjab Congress notwithstanding, all senior leaders pledged their support to the Chaudhary family. Even Navjot Singh Sidhu, after release from Patiala jail, was among the first Congress leaders to visit Chaudhary family, to extend his support to Karamjit Kaur.