It’s the urban voters who have spoilt the party for the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) in Bathinda parliamentary constituency, which, despite winning the polls, is not ecstatic as the slender victory margin of 19,395 votes in this Badal bastion has dented the image of both chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.
In Bathinda (urban) assembly constituency, represented by CPS (excise and taxation) Sarup Chand Singla and Mansa assembly segment, represented by SAD MLA Prem Mittal, the majority of voters gave the Congress candidate Manpreet Singh Badal big leads against the SAD’s Harsimrat Kaur Badal.
ALL-OUT EFFORTS FAIL TO GIVE RESULTS
Despite all their all-out efforts and spending hefty amount on propaganda, the SAD leadership also failed in turning the things in favour of party candidate in Bathinda city.
Harsimrat Badal trailed behind the Congress candidate by a margin of 29,316 votes in Bathinda (urban) assembly segment. She got 41,987 votes compared to 71,303 votes to the Congress. The resentment among urban voters is also evident from the 20,958 votes polled to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Jasraj Singh Longia in the city.
The SAD leadership had laid special emphasis on turning the situation in favour of the party candidate in the city and to reduce the margin of 14,289 votes in the 2009 parliamentary elections.
SAD SPENDS `49 LAKH ON CAMPAIGNING
The party has spent about `49 lakh on Harsimrat’s campaigning in the constituency and a big portion of this has been spent on propaganda through boards and hoardings in the city. Perhaps, Bathinda was the only city in the state where the party had resorted to such a level of campaigning through boards and hoardings highlighting the development works carried out in the city to seek urban votes.
In Mansa assembly constituency, the SAD trailed behind the Congress by a margin of 23, 911 votes. Congress got 79,780 votes while SAD 55,869 votes. In rural assembly segment of Bathinda, Manpreet had a slight edge over the SAD candidate and got a lead of 3,573 votes.
RURAL VOTES PROVE DECIDING FACTOR
In the rest of rural assembly segments Bhucho, Budhlada and Maur in the district, Harsimrat led the tally with a lead of 4,911, 3,315 and 1,776 votes against her rival.
The lead of 34,219 votes from the Lambi assembly segment in Muktsar district represented by chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and of 11,254 votes from Talwandi Sabo and 20,568 votes in the semi-urban assembly constituency of Sardulgarh proved a deciding factor in favour of the SAD candidate.
PROPERTY TAX TAKES ITS TOLL
The poor show by the party in urban areas is seen as a vote against levying of property tax and poor coordination between SAD and BJP leaders.
It is the impact of the drastically reduced victory margin that party cadres are not celebrating the victory in open.
In 2009 parliamentary election, Harsimrat had won by a margin of over one lakh votes.
The party leaders and supporters have preferred to wish chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal at their residence in Badal village in Muktsar district. Not feeling so much elated over the victory, newly elected MP, who had remained inside the house after the results, had not even preferred to receive the victory certificate herself.
The certificate was received by her representatives from the DEO on Friday after the result was declared.