Congress Makes Inroads Into Akali Bastion, Wrests Shahkot; Amarinder Hails it ‘Auspicious’ for 2019
Dubbing the triumph as an endorsement of Congress’ policies by the people of the state, Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh said that the victory was an “auspicious sign” ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
File photo of Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh.
Chandigarh: The Congress finally wrested the Shahkot Assembly seat from the clutches of the Shiromani Akali Dal (Badal) on Thursday after its candidate Hardev Singh Ladi Sherowalia emerged victorious in the recently concluded bypoll.
Sherowalia defeated his nearest rival and SAD candidate Naib Singh Kohar by a huge margin of 38802 votes.
Sherowalia polled 82747 votes against the 43945 votes cast for runner-up Kohar.
Rattan Singh Kakkar Kalan, the candidate of the main opposition party, AAP, managed to get just 1900 votes, forfeiting his security, while 1268 opted for NOTA. Over 76 per cent of 1.72 lakh voters had exercised their franchise on May 28.
Conceding defeat, Naib Singh Kohar, however, alleged that the EVMs were rigged and demanded a probe.
The Shahkot seat, which came into existence after the 2008 delimitation, was an Akali bastion with Naib Singh Kohar’s father, late Ajit Singh Kohar, winning it thrice.
Ajit Singh Kohar, a former minister, was a five-time MLA from the area and his death had necessitated the bypoll.
The landslide victory gave the ruling Congress enough ammunition to fire at its opponents. Dubbing the triumph as an endorsement of Congress’ policies by the people of the state, Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh said that the victory was an “auspicious sign” ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
He also took a jibe at the SAD, stating that it was a loss for SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal and his brother-in-law Bikram Singh Majithia.
The CM was joined by state party chief Sunil Jakhar and cabinet minister Navjot Singh Sidhu who said that the people of Shahkot had given a befitting reply to the arrogance of Sukhbir Singh Badal.
Sukbhir and Majithia should quit politics now, quipped an elated Sidhu.
In October 2017, the Congress had wrested the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat from the BJP in a by-election that was necessitated after the demise of BJP MP Vinod Khanna. The Congress had then hailed the result as the “people’s mandate” against the BJP.
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