Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat bypoll records over 54% turnout

Chandigarh: About 54 % voters exercised their franchise in the high-stake Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat by-election which was largely peaceful barring minor skirmishes on Wednesday. The turnout was said to be lowest in the, at least, past three LS polls when it had touched over 60%.

The said bypoll was necessitated following the demise of Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary due to cardiac arrest during Rahul Gandhi-led Bharat Jodo Yatra in January, this year.

The ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has fielded former legislator Sushil Rinku, a Congress turncoat who joined AAP a few weeks ago, the main opposition Congress has fielded late MP’s widow Karamjit Kaur. While the BJP has fielded a Dalit Sikh leader Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal. He had recently quit Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and joined the saffron party, and is son of a veteran SAD leader Charanjit Singh Atwal, who too has joined BJP.

The SAD with its ally BSP, has fielded its two-time legislator from nearby Banga seat Sukhwinder Kumar Sukhi, an ENT surgeon.


A win in this bypoll is important for the ruling AAP which had faced a humiliating drubbing in the Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll just three months after it came to power in Punjab with a landslide victory – 92 seats out of total 117 – in February assembly polls, last year.

The Congress is also striving hard to retain this seat as it has been its citadel and has won since 1999 in a row.

The stakes are also high for the BJP and SAD as both these parties had faced humiliating defeats in the assembly polls last year. Allies for long, the two parties had severed ties in 2020 over now-repealed farm laws and fought the said polls separately.


According to media reports, a minor clash was reported from the Shahkot area of the constituency after the rival leaders alleged that the AAP MLA from Baba Bakala Dalbir Singh Tong was intimidating voters near a polling station. According to official information, he was arrested for allegedly violating model code of conduct and later let off on bail.

Likewise, there were also several complaints filed by the opposition parties pertaining to the AAP workers from other districts engaged in election work during the said bypoll which followed minor skirmishes. The AAP, however, vehemently trashed all these charges.

In the Dhan Mohalla area in Jalandhar (north), the Congress workers got engaged in a minor clash with AAP workers alleging that the latter who were allegedly carrying arms had allegedly ransacked a polling booth.


There are a total of 19 candidates – including four women – in the fray while the number the voters is 16.21 lakh including about 8.44 males, 7.76 females and 41 third genders. Of the total 1,972 polling stations, 497 have been marked as critical. The counting of votes will take place on May 13.

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