Congress gained in urban, rural areas at AAP, BJP’s expense : The Tribune India

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Congress gained in urban, rural areas at AAP, BJP’s expense

Congress gained in urban, rural areas at AAP, BJP’s expense

Charanjit Singh Channi with his family after winning the Lok Sabha elections in Jalandhar. File photo



Tribune News Service

Aparna Banerji

Jalandhar, June 7

The Ram Mandir issue in urban segments and the protests by farmers in rural segments split the votes in Jalandhar Lok Sabha constituency this year with one of the strongest ever polarisations ever witnessed on the seat. The Congress raked in the biggest advantage, especially in rural areas, while it also made significant dents in BJP votes in some urban areas. Meanwhile, the BJP has increased its vote share in its urban strongholds of Jalandhar North and Centre and lost completely in rural areas.

The constituency-wise voting patterns denote a massive disillusionment of voters across rural and urban constituencies with the Aam Aadmi Party (and in rural constituencies with the BJP). The AAP couldn’t retain lead in a single Jalandhar segment, and received a massive drubbing -- despite having a cabinet minister, an MP (then in AAP, Rinku shifted only months before elections to the BJP) and four MLAs (Kartarpur, Jalandhar Central, Jalandhar West and Nakodar) here. The Congress raked in massive gains in exactly the same rural areas in which the AAP made significant inroads in the 2023 Lok Sabha bypoll. Even Jalandhar West (where AAP gained significant leads last year) and which had been a stronghold of BJP candidate Sushil Rinku (who was the AAP candidate last year), veered to the Congress this time.

Even Adampur, the stronghold of AAP candidate Pawan Tinu, which was won by AAP in the bypoll last year, was wrested by the Congress. For the BJP, in a repeat of the 2023 voting patterns, the saffron party lost all rural areas while gaining decisive leads in the Jalandhar North and Central constituencies -- the heart of its consolidated Hindu vote bank.

In the 2023 Lok Sabha bypoll, the Aam Aadmi Party had received the largest winning margin in Kartarpur, followed by Jalandhar West, Adampur, Phillaur, Jalandhar Cantt, Nakodar and the thinnest in Shahkot. The Congress literally swept these areas this year, amidst a clear anti-incumbency against the AAP. While a majority of the BJP’s votes have come from urban strongholds in Jalandhar --- it led in Jalandhar North, Jalandhar Central, came a close second in Jalandhar West and also remained second (after Congress) in Jalandhar Cantt.

The BJP did not register a lead in any rural area. Across rural areas, the AAP received more votes than the BJP and in some rural areas, the BJP received even less votes than the BSP.

Cong’s massive lead

Compared to the Aam Aadmi Party, the Congress led in Phillaur by 19,555 votes, in Nakodar by 20,673 votes, in Shahkot by 18,893 votes, in Kartarpur by 16,052 votes and in Jalandhar West (won by AAP last year) by a whopping 28,765 votes. In Jalandhar Cantt, Congress registered a lead by 25,246 votes compared to AAP and in Adampur, it left AAP behind by 14,071 votes. The difference between the Congress and BJP vote margin in Jalandhar Cantt was 16,356 votes. Meanwhile, in urban areas, the BJP’s winning margin against the Congress was 3,733 votes in Jalandhar Central and a lead of 5,986 in Jalandhar North. In the Jalandhar West constituency (despite the presence of Rinku and Angural), the BJP trailed behind Congress by a thin margin of 1,557 votes. Meanwhile, in rural areas of Jalandhar, the BJP lost to Congress by a whopping margin of over 34,000 votes in three constituencies. In Shahkot, the BJP lost to Congress by 35,620 votes, in Adampur by 34,072 votes; in Phillaur by 34,825 votes; in Kartarpur by 33,302 votes and in Nakodar by 29,794 votes.

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