IN PUNJAB PRESTIGE BATTLE, CONGRESS WRESTS GURDASPUR FROM BJP

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Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar won Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat, a BJP stronghold, by a margin of over 1.93 lakh votes

GURDASPUR (IANS) — Maintaining its winning streak from the assembly elections, Punjab’s ruling Congress secured an emphatic win in the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat on Sunday.

Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar won by a margin of over 1.93 lakh votes, officials said.

Jakhar, who was in the lead right from the time the vote count began on Sunday morning, extended the margin over his BJP rival Swaran Salaria after each of the 14 rounds of counting.

Congress leaders and workers started had celebrating the impending victory by bursting firecrackers and distributing sweets in Gurdaspur, Chandigarh and other places even before the final result was declared.

“We won the election because of the positive policies of the Congress. People have faith in the party,” Jakhar, who was termed an ‘outsider’ in the constituency by his opponents, told the media after his victory

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh hailed the “unprecedented” Congress victory “as a total rejection of the anti-people policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally, the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)”.

We won the election because of the positive policies of the Congress. People have faith in the party

“The massive win for Congress candidate shows the people’s complete denunciation of the corrupt and immoral BJP and SAD,” Amarinder said, adding that it also underlined the political annihilation of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the state.

“The over 1.93 lakh margin of victory has not only more than compensated for the 1.36 lakh vote defeat of Congress candidate Pratap Singh Bajwa against BJP’s Vinod Khanna in 2014 but has surpassed even the 1.51 lakh lead by which Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder (Congress) had won in 1980,” Amarinder pointed out.

The seat was earlier held by the BJP, which had won it in 2014. The seat fell vacant in April following the passing away of veteran actor Vinod Khanna, a four-time MP from the seat.

AAP candidate Maj. Gen. Suresh Kumar Khajuria (retd) lost his security deposit.

Khajuria left the counting centre alleging that the voting was rigged by the Congress, which came to power in the state after sweeping the assembly polls.

The counting was conducted in centres in Gurdaspur and Pathankot towns. There were 11 candidates in the fray for the October 11 election. Nearly 56 per cent of the 15.22 lakh registered voters exercised their franchise.

The voter turnout was much lower than the over 70 per cent polling in 2014.

Indian Union Muslim League’s KNA Khader Wins Kerala By-Poll

KNA Khader won with a margin of over 23,000 votes. — File photo

I am going back with lots of happiness as the Left did their best to see the back of me, but I managed to win easily, sad KNA Khader

MALAPPURAM (IANS) — The Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), part of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in Kerala, won the Vengara by-poll today. IUML candidate KNA Khader won with a margin of over 23,000 votes.

IUML chief PK Kunhalikutty, who vacated the Vengara seat and later won the Malappuram Lok Sabha seat earlier this year, said the CPI-M used all its might to secure the seat.

According to the Chief Electoral Officer, Khader got 65,227 votes, CPI-M candidate PP Basheer came second with 41,917 votes followed by Social Democratic Party of India candidate KC Naseer and BJP’s K Janachandran in the third and fourth positions.

A total of 502 voters pressed the NOTA button.

The by-election was necessitated when legislator Kunhalikutty vacated the seat after he was elected from the Malappuram Lok Sabha constituency in April this year.

IUML, the second biggest constituent of the Congress-led UDF, had fielded two-time former legislator Khader.

In the Lok Sabha polls, Kunhalikutty had secured a margin of over 40,000 votes, while at the 2016 assembly polls he won with a margin of over 38,000 votes.

“I am going back with lots of happiness as the Left did their best to see the back of me, but I managed to win easily. I thank all the people of this constituency and the UDF leaders,” said Khader.

Basheer said that he has been able to break the myth that the IUML was all prevailing and powerful.

“Just see the votes that we have managed to get and we could take the fight into several strongholds of the IUML,” said Basheer.

Meanwhile, Communist Party of India-Marxist state secretary Kodiyeri Balakrishnan said the results showed that the Congress-led opposition was on its way out.

“The IUML might have a technical victory, but we have scored a political victory.”

 

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