After Sangrur debacle, AAP re-enters Lok Sabha from Punjab with Jalandhar win : The Tribune India

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After Sangrur debacle, AAP re-enters Lok Sabha from Punjab with Jalandhar win

After ‘poaching Rinku from Congress’, winning the bypoll had became a prestige issue for ruling AAP

After Sangrur debacle, AAP re-enters Lok Sabha from Punjab with Jalandhar win

Sushil Kumar Rinku



Tribune News Service

Ruchika M Khanna

Chandigarh, May 13

The Aam Aadmi Party on Saturday regained its representation in the Lok Sabha, with party candidate Sushil Kumar Rinku getting an impressive win.

It has been a major setback for the Congress, with which the seat remained since 1999. It had fielded Santokh Chaudhary's widow Karamjit Kaur as the candidate.

In June 2022, AAP had witnessed a major setback when SAD (Amritsar)'s Simranjit Singh Mann won the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat after defeating his nearest rival, AAP's Gurmail Singh, by a slender margin.

The Sangrur constituency was once a stronghold of AAP. Bhagwant Mann had represented this seat twice -- in 2014 and 2019.

He had vacated the seat after winning the Assembly election in February 2022 from Dhuri.

The win has also given confidence to the AAP for the local body polls, which would be held soon. 

What worked in the party’s favour was the 300 units of free power to domestic consumers; the filling up of vacancies in the government sector; and, a very aggressive campaign by the party.

Also, the fact that the ruling party, smarting from the loss suffered in the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat bypoll last year, got it right with the state leadership given the reins of the party campaign, and the Delhi leadership working mostly behind the curtains.

Despite the Latifpura incident in Jalandhar; video leak and complaint of sexual misconduct by a minister; blasts in Amritsar on the poll eve and the case of alleged police high-handedness in the arrest of a journalist, the party managed to clear these hurdles with a focused campaign and reaching out to every religious dera (which command huge following and influence over voters) and also to voters in the constituency.

“This is a vote for development and people have judged us and supported us for the work done in just one year in office,” party’s poll campaign chief for Jalandhar and Finance Minister Harpal Cheema told The Tribune.

Party top leadership, led by Rajya Sabha MP, Sandeep Pathak, had strategised the entire party campaign. Beginning from scratch, where the party initially did not have a candidate (Rinku was “poached” from Congress) to ensuring an impressive win, it was made possible by “getting all hands in the party working”, said Cheema.

The ruling party made it a battle of prestige in Jalandhar. Almost all party MLAs and ministers have remained stationed in Jalandhar, with each MLA being made incharge of 10 villages in the constituency. One minister each was made incharge of one of the assembly segments (there are nine assembly segments), and each of them reported to the party’s top election strategist for the poll.

Also, the party used the services of councillors and village panches and sarpanches for mobilisation of voters on the day of polling. Some of them reportedly also arranged special vehicles to ferry voters to the polling booths. 

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.

#Aam Aadmi Party AAP #Congress #Sangrur #simranjit singh mann


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