In Lambi, Warring breaches Badals’ bastion
Congress candidate Amrinder Singh Raja Warring may have lost the battle of Bathinda Lok Sabha seat, but he has breached the Badals’ bastion of Lambi assembly segment by reducing Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) nominee Harsimrat Kaur Badal’s lead from there by more than half this time.
An aggressive campaigning by Warring brought down Harsimrat’s lead in Lambi to 16,125 as against 34,219 in the 2014 parliamentary polls when she was pitted against Congress’ Manpreet Badal, the estranged nephew of her father-in-law Parkash Singh Badal.
In 2014, Harsimrat could retain her seat only due to the lead in Lambi, which is being represented by former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal since 1997.
Harsimrat, who won the Bathinda seat for third time in a row, polled 61,579 votes in Lambi while Warring secured 45,454.
In 2017 assembly elections, when Badal faced Capt Amarinder Singh of the Congress in Lambi, the latter had polled 43,605 votes. Badal then retained the seat by a margin of 22,770 votes.
Political analysts say in the previous two Lok Sabha elections, Lambi proved a saving grace for Akalis as their support base has been eroding in Bathinda constituency.
“In 2009, Harsimrat won the Bathinda seat for the first time with a handsome margin of about 1.2 lakh votes. But her support base in the constituency has diminished significantly eversince. Her victory margin in 2014 polls was 19,395 whereas this time, it is 21,412,” said an analyst.
However, Harsimrat improved her performance in Mansa assembly segment. In 2014, she had trailed in Mansa by 23,911 votes, but this loss was restricted to 2,926 votes this time.
Similarly, she had trailed by more than 29,000 votes from Bathinda (urban) in 2014, but this time she secured a lead of 3,743.
Harsimrat said it was a tough electoral contest. “The Amarinder government used every tactic to target Akali workers. I owe my victory to committed party volunteers who braved every atrocity in the run-up to the elections.”
She said the SAD victory in Bathinda and Ferozepur is a morale booster for party workers. “Our president (Sukhbir Badal) managed to win the Ferozepur seat by a margin of 1.98 lakh votes.” She said the sacrilege issue was raised by the Congress to malign the Badal family.