Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) candidate Kirron Kher created history by becoming the first woman member of Parliament (MP) from Chandigarh.
On her way to a convincing victory over four-time Lok Sabha MP Pawan Bansal of the Congress, 61-year-old actor-turned-politician Kirron led from round one and stayed ahead of her competitors till the final round.
In the opening round, which comprises Maloya and Palsora villages, a Congress stronghold, Kirron scraped past her rival with a slim lead of 252 votes. She secured 9,752 votes while Bansal was breathing down her neck with 9,500 votes followed by Gulkirat Kaur Panag of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), who opened her account with 5,707 votes.
In the second round, Kirron managed to take her lead to 2,157 votes by polling 8,486 votes leaving behind Bansal at second place with 6,581 votes. In the subsequent round, Kirron took her lead to 2,471 votes by clinching 7,504 votes, keeping Bansal at bay, who could only manage 7,190.
Bansal was well in contention till round five, but lost ground to Kirron who zoomed to inaccessible lead of 15,767 votes in sixth round. From there on, the gap between Kirron and Bansal kept widening and she crossed the 30,000 mark in the 10th round. Building up the sound lead, she breached the 50,000 figure in the 15th round.
After 15th round, the Congress conceded defeat and most of the party workers started leaving the premises of Chandigarh College of Engineering and Technology (CCET), Sector 26, where counting was being held. Sniffing victory, the BJP supporters started celebrating. In the end, Kirron sailed home with an impressive victory margin of 69,642 by securing 42.2% of total polled votes.
In last Lok Sabha elections held in 2009, Bansal was in the driving seat and had swept all the rounds.
Senior BJP leaders Satya Pal Jain stated that they managed to stay ahead in all the rounds which make the acceptability of Kirron evident across the city.
Underdog Gul pips Bansal in 8 rounds
Gul put up a great fight and managed to beat Bansal in as many as eight rounds. She bagged more votes than Bansal in round 3, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12 and 13 to finish at credible third place. She secured impressive 1,08,679 votes, only 13,041 less than Bansal, who bagged 1,21,720.
In this elections, Chandigarh had recorded highest-ever poll turnout at 73.84%. The female voter turnout was registered higher at 74.15%, than male at 73.57% in the election which saw five women in race for the lone parliamentary seat of Chandigarh.
Kirron's lead in every round
Round No. Lead
20 47 (ballot votes)
Seat won by 69,642 votes