The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate, Harvinder Singh Phoolka who lost to Ravneet Singh Bittu of the Congress by 19,709 votes in Ludhiana Lok Sabha constituency is being acknowledged as a winner by his supporters and electorate who voted for him.
The reason: The defeat of the Congress at the Centre and by the Aam Aadmi Party’s gains in Punjab in terms of vote share and win on four out of 13 parliamentary seats. Not in a mood to leave Punjab and Ludhiana in particular, Phoolka is out on the city roads again to thank people, and he is being welcomed with garlands.
A closer look at the votes polled in the assembly segments under Ludhiana Lok Sabha seat gives an insight into the position of the SAD, as even in the assembly segments where the party had its legislators, it failed to get majority votes for its candidate.
The strong anti-incumbency factor was evident in urban as well as rural assembly segments.
The rural constituencies with SAD le gislators considered to be the stronghold of Akalis, too, failed to convert support into votes for the party candidate, Manpreet Singh Ayali . Despite having SAD legislator SR Kler in Jagraon, Ayali trailed Phoolka by 36,056 votes.
On the otherhand, with former union minister Manish Tewari opting out of the race, Ravneet Singh Bittu’s candidature came as a blessing in disguise as he managed to unite the dissidents in Ludhiana unit of the Congress thereby ensuring his win that gave him the chance of becoming one of the three stars of the Congress in Punjab.
While HS Phoolka, in absence of strong organisation of the AAm Aadmi Party lost ground in city constituencies, Bittu made the most of it by getting a major share of votes in Ludhiana East, Ludhiana Central and Ludhiana North. The last two are represented by the Congress MLAs, Surinder Dawar and Rakesh Pandey.