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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Internal bickering within Cong cause behind Singla’s defeat, says analysts

NEERAJ MOHAN, Hindustan Times  Sangrur, May 18, 2014
First Published: 00:09 IST(18/5/2014) | Last Updated: 00:11 IST(18/5/2014)

The 500-bedded satellite centre of PGI Chandigarh, upgrading of all railway stations falling in Sangrur Lok Sabha seat, halt of Shatabdi trains at Dhuri, Panj-Takht special train for Sikh pilgrims, synthetic track for the war-heroes stadium in Sangrur and his restless efforts for the four-laning of the Chandigarh-Bathinda NH-64, could not work for Congress MP Vijay Inder Singla as he lost his security deposit in the election and got only 17 per cent of the polled votes. 

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The surprising historic win of Aam Aadmi Party's satirist-turned-politician Bhagwant Mann indicated that the people of Sangrur believed in new faces as five years ago when Singla contested his first Lok Ssabha elections as a parachute candidate, he managed to defeat senior SAD leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa by 40,000 votes. Also, he helped the Congress to get the seat after 18 years.

This time too, Singla was very much confident  that people will reward him for his restless efforts, but he fell prey to Bhagwant Mann's satires.  Though, SAD's Sukhdev Dhindsa had to taste the second consecutive defeat of 2.11 lakh votes from Bhagwant Mann, but he managed to protect his vote bank and got 3.21 lakh votes, 4,000 more than the last Lok Sabha elections when he got 3.17 lakh votes out of a total 9.31 lakh votes. Whereas, Singla, who had secured 3.58 lakh votes in the last  election, got only 1.81 lakh votes out of a total 10.99 lakh polled votes.

The political analysts are of the view that internal bickering within the party could be cited as a major reason for Singla's debacle as his performance was very poor in the Congress-led assembly segments.

Singla got only 25,594 votes out of the 1.55 lakh votes in Lehra represented by former chief minister and senior Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Batthal. 

In Dhuri, where the Congress MLA and Captain Amarinder's blue-eyed boy Arvind Khanna had resigned two days before the results, Singla got only 17,339 votes out of a total 1.51 lakh votes.

Similarly, from Badhaur assembly segment represented by Congress' Mohammad Sadique, Singla got only 13,920 votes out of a total 1.45 lakh.
In Barnala, where another Congress MLA Kewal Dhillon had expressed his interest for the ticket from Sangrur, Singla got only 18,195 votes out of a total 1.61 lakh votes.  Similarly, Singla performed worst in Mehal Kalan, which is represented by Harchand Kaur of Congress,  as he got only 11081 votes out of 1.51 lakh votes.

Though, Bhagwant Mann has also made a dent in the SAD's rural vote bank, but the results proved that Dhindsa got full support of SAD MLAs.
Even in the Muslim-dominated Malerkotla assembly seat, where Dhindsa did not install Narender Modi's banners, he got about 28,000 votes, whereas Singla got only 20,000. Moreover,  Dhindsa got 46,606 votes in Rajinder Kaur Bhattal's Lehra assembly segment.

Despite a number of developmental works, Singla lost his security deposit and Bhagwant Mann, who got AAP's ticket less than two months before the polling, made history by winning the seat by a record margin of 2.11 lakh votes by getting 49 per cent of polled  votes has forced the politician to rethink.

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