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Punjab Assembly bypolls: Cong wins 3 seats, Akalis 1

PTI | Updated on October 24, 2019

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh   -  The Hindu

The ruling Congress won three Assembly seats, while the Opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) won one in the Punjab bypolls, the results of which were announced on Thursday.

While the Congress won the Jalalabad, Phagwara and Mukerian seats, the SAD came up trumps in Dakha.

Chief Minister Amarinder Singh hailed his party’s victory in three of the four Assembly segments, particularly in SAD president Sukhbir Badal’s “self-proclaimed” stronghold of Jalalabad, and described it as a total rejection of the negative agenda of the Akalis.

Congress’s Raminder Awla defeated SAD’s Raj Singh Dibipura by a margin of 16,633 votes in Jalalabad, officials said.

Jalalabad was considered to be a citadel of the Akalis as they had represented the seat in the Assembly since 2007. The seat fell vacant after the sitting MLA, Sukhbir Singh Badal, was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Ferozepur parliamentary segment in the general election held in April-May.

Congress candidate and former IAS officer Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal defeated Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Rajesh Bagha by a margin of 26,116 votes in Phagwara.

The Phagwara seat fell vacant after BJP’s Som Parkash, who had won it in the 2017 Assembly polls, was elected to the Lok Sabha this year.

In a blow to the ruling party, SAD’s Manpreet Singh Ayali defeated Congress nominee Sandeep Singh Sandhu by a margin of 14,672 votes in Dakha.

The seat fell vacant following the resignation of former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Supreme Court lawyer H S Phoolka from the state Assembly.

Congress’s Indu Bala won from Mukerian by defeating BJP’s Jangi Lal Mahajan by a margin of 3,440 votes.

The seat fell vacant following the death of Congress MLA Rajnish Kumar Babbi. Indu Bala is Babbi’s widow.

The polling took place on October 21 for the four Assembly constituencies and it recorded an overall voter turnout of 65.57 per cent, which sealed the fate of 33 candidates.

The highest polling was witnessed in Jalalabad at 75.46 per cent, followed by 71.64 per cent in Dakha and 58.62 per cent in Mukerian. The Phagwara reserve seat recorded a voter turnout of 55.97 per cent.

Published on October 24, 2019

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