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Posted at: Oct 15, 2017, 8:57 AM; last updated: Oct 16, 2017, 1:30 AM (IST)

Sunil Jakhar wins Gurdaspur Lok Sabha byelection with huge margin

Beats BJP’s Salaria by 1,93,219 votes
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 15

Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar on Sunday won the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha byelection by beating his nearest BJP rival Swaran Salaria with a huge margin of 1,93,219 votes, while Aam Aadmi Party candidate Major General (retd) Suresh Khajuria finished a distant third.

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Jakhar polled 4,99,752 votes while Salaria polled 3,06,553, a poll official said. Aam Aadmi Party nominee Khajuria was at the third sport with 23,579 votes.

The seat had fallen vacant after the death of BJP MP Vinod Khanna in April this year.

The Congress won this seat after the 2009 Lok Sabha poll when Congress candidate Partap Singh Bajwa had won this seat by defeating BJP candidate Vinod Khanna.

Read: BJP must read writing on wall after Gurdaspur defeat: Sunil Jakhar

CM Amarinder hails Cong’s landslide win

Ahead of key state polls, Cong’s Gurdaspur win sends big message to BJP

Khanna was four-time MP from the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat. The actor had won this seat in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2014.

An elated Jakhar thanked voters for the resounding victory in the bypoll.

"With this victory, people have reaffirmed faith in the leadership of Amarinder Singh," said Jakhar.

"This is a victory for the Congress and Capt Amarinder Singh," he said.

Congratulating Jakhar, the Punjab Chief Minister said it is a victory for the development agenda.

"Congratulations to @sunilkjakhar ji for his impressive win in #Gurdaspur bypoll, it's a victory for @INCPunjab policies & development agenda," Amarinder tweeted.

After the trends suggesting massive lead for Congress, party workers assembled at the party office in Chandigarh and started distributing sweets and danced.

Talking to reporters, state Cabinet Minister Navjot Singh Sidhu said, "We have sent a beautiful Diwali gift packed with red ribbon to our would-be President Rahul Gandhi because it sets the tone...It will be a shot in the arm for the Congress."

"This (victory) is a big slap on the face of 'jija-saala' (SAD chief Sukhbir Badal and Bikram Singh Majithia).

“Today the BJP will realise that Akali Dal in Punjab has become a burden. Time and again people have reprimanded them. It will be demoralising and send them (SAD-BJP) packing," said Sidhu.

Both the BJP and the AAP accused the Congress of misusing official machinery to win the bypoll.

Punjab BJP secretary Vineet Joshi alleged that the Congress misused the official machinery in the bypoll. AAP candidate Khajuria also accused the Congress of using "undemocratic means" in the bypoll.

However, the Sucha Singh Langah episode seemed to have damaged the BJP, particularly in Dera Baba Nanak where the former SAD minister remained halqa in charge for 10 years.

According to political observers, the Langah episode made a dent in Jat Sikh votes. This time, the Jat Sikh votes, which would have normally gone to the BJP, had gone to the Congress.

GST also seemed to have hit the saffron party hard in trading towns of Batala and Pathankot, where Jakhar took an early lead of 7,000 votes, the observers said.

The bypoll, held on October 11, was also being seen as a barometer for the popularity of the six-month-old Congress government in the state.

The Gurdaspur parliamentary seat has nine Assembly segments—Bhoa, Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Dinanagar, Qadian, Fatehgarh Churian, Dera Baba Nanak, Sujanpur and Batala.

Two counting centres had been set up for the counting of votes. For six Assembly constituencies of Gurdaspur district, a counting center had been set up at Sukhjindra College Gurdaspur, while another counting centre had been set up at SD College, Pathankot, for three Assembly constituencies of Pathankot district.

Meanwhile, BJP national spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain said in Muktsar today that the party accepts its defeat in the Gurdaspur bypoll. “Jakhar won due to his personality and position he enjoys in the party as PCC chief," he said. 

Final result

Sunil Jakhar (Cong) 4,99,752
Swaran Salaria (BJP) 3,06,553
Suresh Khajooriea (AAP) 23,579
NOTA: 7,587

Sunil Jakhar led in all 9 Assembly seats of Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency

Constituency-wise result

Sujanpur lead: 6,801
Cong 44,063
BJP 37,362
AAP 1,629

Bhoa lead: 7,796
Cong 52,315
BJP 44,519
AAP 1,677

Pathankot lead: 8,710
Cong 41,453
BJP 32,743
AAP 2,019

Gurdaspur lead: 29,656
Cong 56,018
BJP 26,362
AAP 3,080

Dina Nagar lead: 11,387
Cong 51,884
BJP 40,497
AAP 2,315

Qadian lead: 26,348
Cong 58,972
BJP 32,624
AAP 2,996

Batala lead: 26,255
Cong 53,741
BJP 27,486
AAP 2,970

Fatehgarh Churia lead: 32,296
Cong 65,168
BJP 32,872
AAP 2,866

Dera Baba Nanak lead: 44,074
Cong 76,137
BJP 32,063
AAP 4,027


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