Five first-time MPs elected from Punjab
The Punjab voters elected as many as five candidates — three from Congress and two from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) — who registered a victory in the parliamentary polls for the first time.
Interestingly, it was the debut Lok Sabha elections for four of them.
Actor-turned politician Sunny Deol, 59, who entered politics by joining BJP ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, won from Gurdaspur by defeating Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar. The ‘Border’ actor’s stardom and consolidation of votes in support of the BJP in the Hindu-dominated assembly segments worked in his favour. His appeal among the people, particularly the youth, was evident from day one when he started his campaign.
The Balakot airstrike narrative also found resonance in the border seat.
Congress’ Mohammad Sadique, 79, won from the Faridkot segment by defeating his nearest rival Shiromani Akali Dal’s (SAD) Gulzar Singh Ranike.
Bureaucrat-turned-politician Dr Amar Singh, 65, of the Congress defeated SAD’s Darbara Singh Guru, also a bureaucrat-turned-politician.
Congress’ Jasbir Singh Gill ‘Dimpa’, 48, a former Beas MLA, won from Khadoor Sahib, a panthic stronghold, by defeating SAD’s Bibi Jagir Kaur.
The seat remained an Akali citadel since 1977, barring 1992 when SAD had boycotted the polls.
The BJP nominee and Phagwara MLA Som Parkash got the better of Congress’ Raj Kumar Chhabewal in Hoshiarpur. In 2009, he had lost from the seat by a thin margin of 366 votes.