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HindustanTimes Tue,16 Sep 2014

BJP's Kirron Kher wins from Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat

PTI  Chandigarh, May 16, 2014
First Published: 19:40 IST(16/5/2014) | Last Updated: 19:48 IST(16/5/2014)

BJP won the Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat after a gap of 16 years as the saffron party's candidate Kirron Kher defeated Congress's four-time MP and former railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal by a strong margin of 69,642 votes. 61-year-old Kher, who made her maiden electoral fray from Chandigarh seat, polled 1,91,362 votes while Congress's Pawan Kumar Bansal got 1,21,720 votes, said election office.

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Read more: Live: Kirron Kher wins by 69,642 votes

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate and Bollywood actress Gul Panag secured third position with 1,08,679 votes while BSP's Jahan-ul-Haq was at fourth position with 15,934 votes.

Kher asserted herself with a lead in the first round of counting and continued to maintain it in all the 20 rounds of counting, as per election office.

Percentage-wise, BJP got 42.20% votes, Congress secured 26.84%  while Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP got 23.97% votes out of 4,53,455 votes which were counted.

As many as 3,106 voters (0.68% of the total votes) in Chandigarh opted for None of The Above (NOTA) option, as per election office.

Panag, testing electoral waters for the first time, managed to get considerable chunk of votes which appeared to cast a shadow on the prospects of Bansal.

A total of 17 candidates were in fray from Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat which witnessed 73.84 per cent or 4.53 lakh voters of the 6.13 lakh eligible exercising their franchise on April 10.

BJP last won Chandigarh Lok Sabha seat in 1998 when its nominee Satya Pal Jain emerged victorious.
Congress's Pawan Kumar Bansal, who had to step down as railway minister last year after his nephew was held for cash-for-post bribery scam, had won this parliamentary seat three times in a row in 1999, 2004 and 2009. In 2009, Bansal defeated BJP's Jain by a margin of 58,967 votes.

Victory for BJP has come at a time when its city unit faced infighting among local leaders. Three BJP leaders, including Jain, BJP Chandigarh unit president Sanjay Tandon, and former union minister Harmohan Dhawan had lobbied hard with the party high command for a ticket, which was given to Kher, who has her roots in the city having been brought up here.

Dimpled-cheek Kher had to even face wrath of disgruntled party workers who burnt her effigies, threw eggs and showed her black flags when party announced her name as candidate from Chandigarh.

Ticket aspirant Harmohan Dhawan had even adopted tough stance against the nomination of Kher but she managed to get his support later.
Kher, whose father lives in Chandigarh, constantly faced barbs from the opposition which labeled her "paratrooper" and not "familiar with" the local issues. Kher had expressed confidence of winning Chandigarh seat on the back of "Modi wave".
 
In her support, Narendra Modi had held a massive rally in the city too.

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