After Congress candidate Chaudhary Santokh Singh defeated his closest rival SAD-BJP’s Pawan Kumar Tinu with a margin of more than 70,000 votes, a sense of anger among voters against the government in the urban areas of the parliamentary segment did the ruling combine candidate in.
Tinu faced a virtual rout in the four assembly segments of the city — Jalandhar West, Jalandhar Central, Jalandhar North and Jalandhar Cantonment — where his rival took a lead of over 60,000 votes against him.
He was defeated in these segments with a margin of 21, 481; 10,250; 17,533 and 10,593 votes respectively. In Jalandhar Central segment, represented by forest minister Chunni Lal Bhagat who is also the leader of BJP in Vidhan Sabha, Tinu was defeated by the highest margin among all nine assembly seats.
In this segment, the Congress was fighting without any strong leader as its leader from here Suman Kaypee, who contested unsuccessfully during last assembly polls, was busy electioneering for her husband Mohinder Singh Kaypee in Hoshiarpur.
It was followed by Jalandhar North represented by chief parliamentary secretary KD Bhandari where the victory margin was 17,533 votes.
In Jalandhar Cantonment, represented by former hockey player and SAD MLA Paragat Singh, the SAD stood at third place and the AAP remained second.
Heavy taxes levied on the industry, issue of property tax and misrule of the BJP-run municipal corporation worked against the ruling combine candidate since the SAD failed to get even 1,000 votes in many wards.
Even deputy chief minister Sukhbir Badal’s strategy to carpet bad roads in the city right before the elections did not work.
“People were ready to vote for Modi but they chose not to give mandate to the ruling combine in the state. Sukhbir should understand that not doing any development work for two years and then carpeting all roads in 15 days cannot garner votes.
People are not fool,” said Vikram Chaudhary, state Youth Congress chief and son of Congress’s Santokh Chaudhary.
Even in the Adampur assembly se gment, represented by Tinu himself, the SAD nominee faced defeat by a margin of 4,466 votes. Here, his major share of votes was eaten by AAP candidate who polled 28164 votes from there.
On the other hand, in Phillaur segment, the home constituency of the Chaudhary family, the Congress got a lead of 17,587 votes. Here too, the SAD was pushed to the third place by the AAP.
In the Kartarpur assembly segment, represented by jails minister Sarwan Singh Phillaur, the Congress got a lead of 12599 votes. Tinu managed to get lead from Shahkot and Nakodar assembly segments — 18,663 and 797 votes respectively.
In Nakodar, the AAP remained second and pushed the Congress to third place. The margin is no less than humiliation to the SAD-BJP combine which represents all the nine assembly seats falling under the Jalandhar Parliamentary segment.
“We respect the verdict. It is a decision of the people and we will introspect where we went wrong,” said Tinu.