Seeing lowest turnout, Amritsar no cakewalk for Congress this time : The Tribune India

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Seeing lowest turnout, Amritsar no cakewalk for Congress this time

Seeing lowest turnout, Amritsar no cakewalk for Congress this time

Officials monitor cameras installed to keep vigil on one of the counting centres in Amritsar on Monday. Vishal Kumar



Tribune News Service

GS Paul

Amritsar, June 3

Traditionally, Amritsar Lok Sabha seat has been a Congress bastion. Yet keeping in view the AAP’s citadel in the holy city’s maximum Assembly segments, BJP’s strategy of consolidation of non-Jat votes (Dalits/Mazhabi Sikhs) and SAD’s dominance in rural belt, it would not be a cakewalk for the Congress to maintain its supremacy.

Amritsar witnessed the lowest voters’ turnout of 56.06 per cent. Meanwhile, under three-tier security arrangements, around 850 staffers have been assigned to conduct free and fair counting at nine centres from 8 am onwards tomorrow.

In this pivotal electoral contest, a roster of key candidates including Congress’ undefeated candidate Gurjeet Singh Aujla, AAP’s Kuldeep Singh Dhaliwal, BJP’s Taranjit Singh Sandhu, and SAD’s Anil Joshi vie to win.

Sikhs make up over 50 per cent of the total electorate here. The general trend was of fielding the Sikh candidate.

Interestingly, the ‘Panthic party’ SAD had broken the glass ceiling by putting the bet on a Hindu face, a BJP turncoat, whereas the RSS-influenced BJP had fielded the Jat Sikh candidate, a former India’s envoy to the US.

Looking back, between 1952 and 2019, a total of 20 Lok Sabha polls and bypolls were conducted. Of these, the Congress won 13 times, the Opposition, including Bharatiya Jana Sangh, Janata Party and Bharatiya Janata Party six times and Independent once.

Aujla aimed to hit the hat-trick. He had won the 2017 bypolls and 2019 general polls with a mammoth margin of 2 lakh and one lakh votes, respectively. Yet this time, the opponents followed him very closely and the margin could be thin.

AAP already has seven of the nine Assembly constituencies in its kitty. In addition, its candidate Dhaliwal is holding a ministerial berth. The maximum percentage of 66.03 per cent electoral turnout was from his home constituency Ajnala only. He fits to be a strong contender.

Officers, who were posted in Ajnala and Attari belt polling station, said that AAP’s dominance was witnessed over there, followed by the Congress.

The SAD and BJP contested ‘solo’ and division of votes would dent the prospects of either side, but pose good competition.

Reports suggested that after the Sehajdhari Sikh community’s support, the BJP had managed the Sikh Mazhabi farm community in its favour too, well in advance. Otherwise, its presence was felt in urban areas.

Though Sandhu faced several demonstrations by farmers during the poll campaign in rural areas, yet no farm union had opposed the BJP workers to set up their counters in the rural belt.

On the other hand, the SAD’s popularity in the rural belt could not be denied, but lagged in the urban segments. Joshi’s hold in urban areas, owing to his estranged BJP cadre vote bank and his pro-farmers’ stand, could also not be ignored.

About The Author

The Tribune News Service brings you the latest news, analysis and insights from the region, India and around the world. Follow the Tribune News Service for a wide-ranging coverage of events as they unfold, with perspective and clarity.

#BJP #Congress #Dalits #Lok Sabha #Sikhs


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