Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Posted at: May 24, 2019, 7:02 AM; last updated: May 24, 2019, 7:02 AM (IST)

Kher once more

BJP candidate defeats Cong’s Bansal by 46,970 votes | AAP a no-show

Ramkrishan Upadhyay

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, May 23

The city also got swept away by the nationwide Modi wave as BJP candidate Kirron Kher won the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat for the second time running by defeating her nearest rival Pawan Kumar Bansal of the Congress.

Despite the anti-incumbency factor and an aggressive campaign, nothing worked for the Congress as Kher retained the seat by a margin  of 46,970  votes. Though her victory margin has reduced from last time, the actress-turned-politician and wife of noted thespian Anupam Kher took the lead in the first round and maintained it till the end of all 15 rounds of counting.

Kher had won the seat by a margin of 69,642 votes in the last lok Sabha elections in 2014. This is the second consecutive defeat for former Union Minister and four-time Member of Parliament from Chandigarh Pawan Kumar Bansal, who fought the election for the eighth time in a row.

The BJP candidate polled 2,31,188 votes, while Bansal got 1,84,218.  

It was more or less a direct fight between Kher and Bansal as AAP failed to repeat its performance and its candidate and former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan got only  13,781  votes. In the last elections, AAP’s Gulkirat Kaur Panag had got 1,08,679 votes. The AAP got a majority of the votes from colonies and 

villages in the last elections, but this time, a majority  of  these votes went in favour of the BJP candidate, 

while all Independent candidates failed to save their security deposit.

For the first time, 4,335 voters preferred to exercise the option to reject all candidates and clicked on NOTA.  

Kher received support from all over the city, including colonies, villages and urban areas. Her lead was 1,455 in the first round. When the last round ended, the victory margin had increased to  46,970 votes. The victory margin remained narrow till the seventh round.

Despite an aggressive campaign, Bansal failed to take lead in any area where the Congress had won in earlier elections, including colonies, urban and suburban areas. He also failed to take advantage of the poor performance by AAP.

High drama was witnessed outside the counting centre after counting agents of the Congress candidate alleged mismatch in the number of EVMs with forms given to election agents. Counting was stopped three or four times, but officials termed it human error. The result was delayed due to matching of the EVMs with VVPATs after the counting was over.

Cong office wears deserted look

  • The Congress office in Sector 35 wore a deserted look on Thursday with counting trends showing dismal performance by the party all over the nation. Congress workers were hopeful of a victory in the initial rounds, but lost hope when the margin of votes started increasing.
  • Party leaders were conspicuous by their absence at the office as the trends showed the BJP ahead on a majority of the seats in the country. A leader said while they were sure of the victory of the Congress in Chandigarh due to “non-performance” of the local MP, the Modi factor worked in favour of Kher. 


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