HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014

AAP won 33 of 117 assembly seats

Prabhjit Singh and Vishal Rambani, Hindustan Times  Chandigarh, May 18, 2014
First Published: 00:03 IST(18/5/2014) | Last Updated: 10:22 IST(18/5/2014)

Winning four parliamentary seats in Punjab means the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has also won the mandate in 34 of the 117 assembly segments, and is banking on the three assembly by-elections in the offing to enter the Vidhan Sabha as well.


AAP is banking on Bhagwant Mann's spectacular win for the Dhuri seat in Sangrur parliamentary constituency, vacated by Arvind Khanna. AAP got 63,189 votes in Dhuri, far ahead of SAD's 29,352 and Congress's 17,398.

Dr Dharamvira Gandhi's victory, with Preneet Kaur in second position, is the reason for AAP to have high hopes for the Patiala-urban seat that will be vacated by Capt Amarinder Singh. Gandhi was close at 35,674 votes to Preneet's 43,238 in this assembly segment, leaving SAD's Deepinder Dhillon far behind at a little over 16,000.

The third by-election in the offing is for Talwandi Sabo, vacated by Jeetmohinder Sidhu, in the Badals' bastion.

Of the 34 assembly segments led by AAP in Punjab, 18 are represented by Shiromani Akali Dal, while Congress represents 16.

Besides, the AAP narrowly remained on second position in six assembly seats, and remained among top three on almost 100 assembly segments, securing 24.4% vote bank share in Punjab.

It clearly shows that AAP not only dented the SAD and Congress, but it has gulped down the massive vote bank share of the Bhaujan Samaj Party and the Left parties.

If we have a broader look at the results, the AAP surge is maximum in Malwa belt, while it had a significant dent in Doaba, but didn't fare well in Majha region.
MLAs to worry

The heavyweight MLAs who should get worried on the AAP's triumph in their territories include finance minister Parminder Dhindsa (Sunam), Tota Singh (Dharamkot) and Manpreet Ayali (Dakha), all of SAD.

Among the Congress MLAs to worry include Kuljit Nagra, Sadhu Singh Dharamsot (Nabha-SC), Lal Singh (Sanour), Brahm Mohindra (Patiala-rural), Balbir Sidhu (Mohali) and Charanjit Channi (Chamkaur Sahib).

With 24.4% vote share, AAP's two losing candidates - H S Phoolka and Himmat Singh Shergill have a share in toppling the tables in eight assembly segments.

Mohali MLA Balbir Singh Sidhu says, "AAP has been a very big factor in Punjab."

Acknowledging AAP eating into the votes of both the Congress and the SAD, Sidhu says the social media and the NRI factor led to a situation where he and many like him faced AAP stealing the show in their citadels.

"Had AAP not been there, the entire anti-incumbency in Punjab would have been a gain to the Congress," he says.

AAP Punjab committee convener Sumail Sidhu says taking up regional issues like drug menace and sand mafia and also raising the "callousness of the state government about the fate of the peasantry" really clicked. "AAP cadres will continue to connect with the people for their issues to be decided on priority in the post-poll scenario," he says, when asked whether the AAP wave would hold consistently.
AAP lead in Assembly segments (33)

Banga, Nawanshahr, Chamkaur Sahib, SAS Nagar, Ludhiana West, Gill, Dakha, Jagraon, Bassi Pathana, Fatehgarh Sahib, Samrala, Payal, Raikot, Amargarh,
Nihal Singh Wala, Baghapurana, Moga, Dharamkot, Faridkot, Kotkapura, Jaitu, Dirbha, Sunam, Bhadaur, Barnala, Mehal Kalan, Malerkotla, Dhuri, Sangrur, Nabha, Patiala rural, Shutrana, Sanaur

AAP remained runners-up in assembly segments (6)

Phillaur, Nakodar, Shahkot, Jalandhar Cantt, Lehra



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