Congress’ Sukhjinder Randhawa crushes opposition, wins Gurdaspur by 83K votes : The Tribune India

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Congress’ Sukhjinder Randhawa crushes opposition, wins Gurdaspur by 83K votes

Congress’ Sukhjinder Randhawa crushes opposition, wins Gurdaspur by 83K votes

Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa and Fatehgarh Churian MLA Tripat Rajinder Bajwa (left) flash the victory sign after his win.



Tribune News Service

Ravi Dhaliwal

Gurdaspur, June 4

Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, a four-time MLA, muzzled all opposition against him to win the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat by beating his nearest rival Dinesh Singh Babbu by nearly 83,000 votes.

Early on, Babbu did put up a semblance of a fight. However, as the rounds went by, his fight turned out to be a mirage as Randhawa kept on adding on to his lead slowly taking the game out of rivals reach.

AAP’s Sherry Kalsi suffered a major setback by trailing Randhawa in his home Assembly seat of Batala from where he was expected to notch up a comfortable lead. In the 2022 Assembly polls he had won it by 30,000 plus votes. Senior AAP leaders say he will have to pull himself out of the depths quickly if he has to remain relevant in local politics.

Sukhbir Singh Badal’s carefully orchestrated plan of sending the moderate Daljit Singh Cheema to a constituency known for its Sikh hardliners clearly boomeranged. He had to be content with the wooden spoon. To complicate matters, local SAD leaders did not go all out to help his cause.

Randhawa was the pollsters’ favourite from the day his candidature was announced by the AICC. It is another matter that he was a reluctant contestant. So much so, he had even informed senior Congress leaders that he harboured no intentions to contest. However, once the AICC ignored his pleas and consequently asked him to contest, he launched an aggressive yet well planned campaign taking his rivals by surprise.

He had directed all his family members to canvas for him. He had assigned different duties to different members of his family. All these efforts added up to give him a decent victory.

Interestingly, Randhawa trailed Babbu in all the three Assembly seats of Pathankot district — Bhoa, Pathankot city and Sujanpur — considered to be BJP strongholds. However, he found redemption in his home seat of Dera Baba Nanak as well as in Gurdaspur city, Batala, Fatehgarh Churian and Qadian.

Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency has nine Assembly seats out of which Congress MLAs represent six. All these legislators were asked to get leads from their respective seats, which they did with aplomb.

Survey reports commissioned by different parties in the days preceding the election were giving Randhawa a lead. This was enough to buoy the Congress workers as their candidate mowed down all opposition.

In his speeches, instead of castigating his rival parties, Sukhjinder had touched upon one of the biggest problems plaguing this border constituency. This pertained to Pakistani drones dropping packets of heroin regularly in villages located near the International Border almost at will. With Gurdaspur youth hooked onto the drug in a big way, this issue had struck an emotional chord with parents and other strata of society.

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#Congress #Gurdaspur #Lok Sabha #Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa


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