Simranjit Mann humbles AAP in CM Bhagwant Mann's Sangrur constituency, wins Lok Sabha bypoll by 5,822 votes

Less than a percentage point in the vote share separated the winner and the AAP candidate

Simranjit Mann humbles AAP in CM Bhagwant Mann's Sangrur constituency, wins Lok Sabha bypoll by 5,822 votes

Returning Officer Jitendra Jorwal declares SAD (Amritsar) president and candidate Simranjit Singh Mann as winner in the Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll. Tribune photo

PTI

Chandigarh, June 26

In a major upset in the Lok Sabha by-elections, the AAP on Sunday lost the Sangrur parliamentary seat vacated by Bhagwant Singh Mann when he became Punjab chief minister to SAD (Amritsar) president Simranjit Singh Mann.

Mann, 77, who returns to Parliament after two decades, defeated the Aam Aadmi Party's Gurmail Singh by a margin of 5,822 votes. Mann polled 2,53,154 votes, while Singh got 2,47,332, according to the Election Commission figures.

For the AAP, the humiliating defeat comes just three months after it registered a landslide victory in the 2022 assembly elections, winning 92 of the 117 assembly constituencies.

CM Bhagwant Mann himself has won from Sangrur parliamentary constituency twice – in 2014 and 2019. His recent win was from Dhuri, an assembly segment in the same Lok Sabha constituency.

Answering a TV reporter's question on his victory, Simranjit Mann recalled the death of Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and others during Operation Blue Star at Amritsar's Golden Temple in 1984.

Congress candidate Dalvir Singh Goldy took the third spot after AAP in the results declared  Sunday. BJP's Kewal Dhillon and SAD's Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana followed. Goldy polled 79,668 votes, Dhillon 66,298 and Kaur 44,428.

Less than a percentage point in the vote share separated the winner and the AAP candidate.

Punjab's ruling party conceded defeat even before the results were officially declared. “We respect the mandate of the people for the Sangrur seat. We also congratulate Simranjit Singh Mann," an AAP spokesperson told reporters.

SAD (Amritsar) leader's supporters took to the roads in Sangrur to celebrate the victory. Some distributed ladoos. Many rode in cars and on two-wheelers, raising slogans.

The AAP defeat in Sangrur is being attributed partly to the outrage over the recent murder of popular Punjabi singer and Congress leader Sidhu Moosewala, and the alleged deterioration of law and order under the new government.

Speaking with reporters, Mann dedicated his victory to the people of Sangrur, to the late actor-activist Deep Sidhu and singer Moosewala, "who gave their blood for the Sikh community".

He claimed his victory will have repercussions on Indian politics, and recalled how people laughed at his failure to win elections over several years. He had also unsuccessfully contested the recent assembly polls.

“I am grateful to our voters of Sangrur for having elected me as your representative in Parliament. I will work hard to ameliorate the sufferings of our farmers, farm labourers, traders and everyone in my constituency,” he said.

Mann said farmers and traders were in bad shape and he will raise their issues. Counting of votes began at 8 am on Sunday amid tight security arrangements. Sixteen candidates contested the June 23 bypoll.

It witnessed a low turnout of 45.30 percent as against 72.44 per cent polling in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and 76.71 in 2014.

There were 15.69 lakh eligible voters this time. Altogether, 7,08,448 valid votes were polled, including 2,471 cast for None of the Above (NOTA).

In the counting rounds, Mann and Gurmail Singh were locked in a neck and neck fight though Mann had been maintaining a slender lead over the AAP nominee.

During the poll campaign, Mann's main poll plank was securing the release of Sikh prisoners lodged in various prisons even after the expiry of their jail terms.

AAP candidate Gurmail Singh, 38, is the party's Sangrur district in-charge while the Congress had placed its bets on former Dhuri MLA Goldy.

The BJP fielded former Barnala MLA Kewal Dhillon who joined the party early this month. The SAD nominated Kamaldeep Kaur, the sister of Balwant Singh Rajoana who was convicted for the murder of then Punjab chief minister Beant Singh.

Sangrur parliamentary constituency was considered a bastion of the AAP, which had won all nine assembly seats that fall under it in the 2022 state elections.

Bhagwant Mann had won the Sangrur seat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls after defeating SAD candidate Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa with a margin of 2.11 lakh votes.

In 2019, he won there again by a margin of 1.10 lakh votes, defeating Congress candidate Kewal Dhillon.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann stated in a tweet that he accepts the verdict of the people and will keep on working for the progress and properity of the people of Punjab.

15:33 26 Jun
AAP concedes defeat in Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll, congratulates SAD (Amritsar) candidate Simranjit Singh Mann
12:49 26 Jun
SAD Amritsar Simranjit Singh Mann 243834; AAP Gurmail Singh 238989
12:31 26 Jun
SAD Amritsar Simranjit Singh Mann 231985; AAP Gurmail Singh 227394
11:05 26 Jun
SAD-Amritsar Simranjit Singh Mann 159199; AAP Gurmail Singh 157767
10:47 26 Jun
SAD Amritsar Simranjit Singh Mann- 142380 AAP Gurmail Singh- 137601
10:34 26 Jun
SAD Amritsar Simranjit Singh Mann- 124420; AAP Gurmail Singh- 121510
10:20 26 Jun
SAD Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana--20187 BJP Kewal Dhillong-27537 AAP Gurmail Singh- 109493 Congress Dalvir Singh Goldy -35552 SAD Amritsar Simranjit Singh Mann- 110483
10:18 26 Jun
SAD Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana--17890 BJP Kewal Dhillong-26197 AAP Gurmail Singh- 100965 Congress Dalvir Singh Goldy -33506 SAD Amritsar Simranjit Singh Mann - 100173
10:15 26 Jun
SAD Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana--16587 BJP Kewal Dhillong- 23459 AAP Gurmail Singh- 95426 Congress Dalvir Singh Goldy -31654 SAD Amritsar Simranjit Singh Mann- 95468
10:04 26 Jun
Sangrur: SAD Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana-15051 BJP Kewal Dhillong- 21410 AAP Gurmail Singh- 85223 Congress Dalvir Singh Goldy -27881 SAD Amritsar Simranjit Singh Mann- 85856
09:50 26 Jun
SAD Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana--11419 BJP Kewal Dhillong- 16533 AAP Gurmail Singh- 68306 Congress Dalvir Singh Goldy -21804 SAD Amritsar Simranjit Singh Mann- 69438
09:27 26 Jun
SAD (A) 34702 AAP 33252 INC 9373 SAD-BSP 5587 BJP 6315
09:23 26 Jun
SAD Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana - 1587 BJP Kewal Dhillong- 3529 AAP Gurmail Singh- 11858 Congress Dalvir Singh Goldy - 3446 SAD Amritsar Simranjit Singh Mann- 13030
09:21 26 Jun
Sangrur: SAD Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana---841 BJP Kewal Dhillon- 1557 AAP Gurmail Singh- 5982 Congress Dalvir Singh Goldy - 1335 SAD Amritsar Simranjit Singh Mann- 7216
09:16 26 Jun
Sangrur: SAD Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana---394 BJP Kewal Dhillon- 396 AAP Gurmail Singh- 1766 Congress Dalvir Singh Goldy - 482 SAD Amritsar Simranjit Singh Mann- 2622
09:12 26 Jun
Counting of votes begins amid tight security

Counting of votes for the Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll got under way at 8 am on Sunday amid tight security.

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