Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Kir ron Kher, 61, has won the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat by a record margin of 69,642 votes riding on the Modi wave, as the counting of votes concluded on Friday evening. Kirron, given the party ticket, barely three weeks before polling, defeated four-time Cong ress MP and former railway minister Pawan Bansal - polling 1,91,362 votes against the veteran’s 1,21,720.
She is also the first woman MP to represent Chandigarh and has brought the seat back to the party after 16 years.
Aam Aadmi Party ( AAP) candidate Gul Panag got more than1 lakh votes, a creditable performance, but fell short of Bansal’s tally by 13,000 votes. She had got the ticket only after comedian Jaspal Bhatti’s widow Savita Bhatti had opted out of the contest. Jannat Jahan of the BSP was next with 15,934 votes.
Even as there were 19 rounds of counting, the BJP workers began celebrating by the end of the sixth round with Kirron leading by 19,000 votes at that stage. She also led a victory procession from the Sector 33 party office to the deputy commissioner office in Sector-17, much before the official declaration of the result.
In her campaign, Kir ron, facing a divided local unit with three leaders clamouring for the ticket, when she was made the candidate, had highlighted that a vote for her would contribute to the formation of a stable government at the Centre by party prime ministerial candidate and Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi.
In fact, days before polling, even the BJP had written her off with the common refrain among local party leaders being that the seat had been gifted to Bansal.
For Bansal, it proved impossible to get over the anti-incumbency factor and the repercussions of an alleged scam in the railway ministry under his charge. AAP’s Gul also split the votes of the colony residents, his traditional vote bank.
CELEBRATIONS BEGAN EVEN BEFORE RESULT
Even as there were 19 rounds of counting, the BJP workers began celebrating by the end of the sixth round with Kirron leading by 19,000 votes at that stage. Kirron led a victory procession from the Sector 33 office to the deputy commissioner’s office in Sector 17 at around 3 pm. Local leaders Satya Pal Jain, Har mohan Dhawan and BJP local unit chief Sanjay Tandon were seen accepting congratulations. The Congress and the AAP offices remained deserted throughout the day.