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HindustanTimes Tue,23 Sep 2014

In Doaba, BSP cedes ground to AAP

Ravinder Vasudeva , Hindustan Times  Jalandhar, May 21, 2014
First Published: 08:15 IST(21/5/2014) | Last Updated: 08:17 IST(21/5/2014)

The emergence of the AAP in Punjab, particularly the vote share it got in Doaba despite having little-known faces as its Lok Sabha candidates, looks set to change the Dalit politics of the region and the state. This essentially means alar m bells for the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which has failed to get even a single seat across the country this time.

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Though the AAP, which got all of its four seats in Punjab, did not win any in Doaba region, it upset the calculations of both the ruling SAD-BJP and the opposition Congress in Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur. Eventually, the Congress won Jalandhar and BJP won Hoshiarpur.

In Phillaur segment within the Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat, despite that AAP's candidate Jyoti Mann being not at all popular, in the Phillaur assembly segment, which was seen as a BSP stronghold and has the maximum proportion of scheduled castes in Doaba, in 2012 assembly polls the BSP candidate had got only around 1,200 votes less than the victorious SAD candidate.

This time, the BSP got only 13, 408 votes here. The Aam Aadmi Party received 33,213 votes more than the votes received by the Shiromani Akali Dal candidate, and remained at number two.

Similarly, in Nakodar, Jalandhar Cantonment and Shahkot seats having one of the biggest chunks of Balmiki community across the district, the AAP received 36,700, 34,368 votes and 29, 896 votes, respectively; more than the Congress votes. Here, the Balmiki community before the present elections was considered to be either the BSP's or the Congress' vote bank.

Overall, in the 2009 LS polls in Jalandhar, the BSP candidate received 93,592 votes that have now come down to 46,914, the BSP's worst figure here in the last four Lok Sabha elections. Unexpectedly, here AAP received over 2.5 lakh votes.

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