Congress retains Amritsar LS seat as Modi makes no impact | assembly-elections$punjab-2017 | Hindustan Times
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Congress retains Amritsar LS seat as Modi makes no impact

assembly elections Updated: Mar 12, 2017 16:24 IST
Surjit Singh
Modi wave

Gurjit Singh Ajula celebrating his victory in Amritsar on Saturday. (Gurpreet Singh)

The Modi wave, which swept Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, failed to touch Amritsar Lok Sabha bypolls where the Congress candidate defeated the BJP nominee by a margin of around 2 lakh votes.

The parliamentary seat fell vacant after Captain Amarinder Singh resigned as member of Parliament in protest against the Supreme Court verdict on Satluj-Yamuna Link canal.

Amarinder had won the 2014 LS polls from here with a margin of over 1 lakh votes, but Congress candidate Gurjit Singh Aujla, former president of Amritsar district Congress Committee (rural), almost doubled it.

Since the constituency has a majority of Sikh voters (67%) in the Lok Sabha segment, which was considered the main factor behind the victory of Captain Amarinder Singh who defeated BJP stalwart Arun Jaitley in the last Lok Sabha general polls, this time the saffron party decided to field its Sikh face Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina. However, he lost the bypoll with a big margin amid an unprecedented anti-incumbency wave in Punjab.

The Congress candidates were not the first choice of voters in both assembly and LS bypoll. A sizeable section of voters who chose SAD-BJP candidates for the Assembly polls, supported the Congress candidate in the LS bypoll. So, their choice differed for both the elections.

The Congress candidates got a total of 4,90,043 votes in the nine Assembly segments of the Amritsar Parliamentary area, while the Congress nominee Aujla got 5,08,153 votes in the Lok Sabha bypoll. On the other hand, the SAD-BJP candidate got lesser votes—3,08964—than the total votes (3,42,292) polled by the alliance candidates in the assembly polls.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Upkar Singh Sandhu, former president of the SAD urban unit, came third with 1,49,984 votes. As many as 9747 voters pressed the NOTA button.