The BJP has cruised home in Pathankot district by winning all the three assembly seats falling in the newly carved district.
State BJP president Ashwani Sharma defeated his nearest rival, Raman Bhalla of the Congress, in Pathankot by a margin of 17,848 votes. Congress rebel candidate Ashok Sharma spoiled the chances of the official nominee by cutting into his votes. Sharma secured 23,706 votes as against 24,358 polled by Bhalla.
In Sujanpur, BJP candidate Dinesh Singh Babbu defeated his nearest rival Naresh Puri, an Independent candidate, by an impressive margin of 23,052 votes. While Babbu got 50,357 votes, Naresh Puri, who was banking on the sympathy factor after the death of his father Raghunath Sahai Puri, a Congress stalwart, got 27,302 votes. Congress candidate Vinay Mahajan finished third, polling 22,972 votes.
In Bhoa, a reserved constituency, Seema Kumari of the BJP defeated Congress candidate Balbir Ram Fatehpuria by 10,805 votes. While Seema Kumari secured 42,527 votes, Fatehpuria polled 31,722.
Former BJP MLA Ram Lal Mahasha, who contested as an Independent, could manage only 6,525 votes.
Talking to HT, Sharma said people had given a decisive mandate in favour of the SAD-BJP.
"We will finish our pending projects on priority. I am happy with the performance of my party, which did so well despite the anti-incumbency factor. It is a victory of our party workers, who have really worked hard in these elections," he said.
Bhalla said the Congress had lost in all the three constituencies due to the rebel factor. "We will ask the party high command to take stern action against the rebel candidates," he said.
Seema Kumari said she would now fulfil the promises made to voters.