It was a thumping victory for the SAD-BJP combine in the MC ward number 10 bypoll. But that’s just the politics of it. For 31-year-old Hardeep Singh it was an emotional moment as he wrested the seat vacated by his deceased elder brother.
Hardeep, a Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) candidate, won by 4,950 votes against Congress candidate Bhupinder Singh Badheri, who got just 2,714 out of the total 10,555 votes polled. The counting at Post Graduate Government College, Sector 11, began at 8am on Tuesday, and was over in 30 minutes — Hardeep led from 21 of the 22 booths.
Emotions ran high as Hardeep broke down after seeing a cutout of his brother and predecessor Malkiat Singh. The seat had fallen vacant after Malkiat’s death in October last year due to severe food poisoning during an MC study tour of Port Blair, Kolkata and Chennai.
The family has witnessed similar circumstances earlier. Their father Gurnam Singh had won the MC election from the ward in 2006, but died in 2009 due to brain haemorrhage. In the bypoll then, Malkiat lost to Bhupinder Badheri by 33 votes.
In the polls in December 2011, Malkiat defeated Congress’ Jasbir Singh Bunty by 483 votes. And now, after Malkiat’s death, his brother has won the same ward. As for the Congress, the party led in the one booth at Government Model High School, Badheri, where he managed to get 438 votes while Hardeep got 314. As many as 177 votes went to None of the Above (NOTA).
This takes the SAD-BJP tally in the MC House to 16, including the vote of MP Kirron Kher.
Ward 10, which comprises Sectors 41 and 42, and the villages of Badheri, Attawa and Buterla, has a population of nearly 35,000 and 24,000 voters, respectively.
Speaking to HT, Hardeep said, “I am grateful to people of the ward, and assure them of completing all pending projects.”
Meanwhile, Chander Mukhi Sharma of Congress said the party needed to introspect seriously, as in spite of the fact that Pawan Kumar Bansal campaigned rigorously for the elections, the party lost in 21 of the 22 booths.