Dakha bypoll: LIP fails to maintain its Lok Sabha performance

Hindustan Times, Ludhiana | ByMohit Khanna, Ludhiana
Oct 24, 2019 11:20 PM IST

Party’s candidate Sukhdev Singh Chak, who was being considered a dark horse, garnered only 8,437 votes

The Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) led by Simarjit Singh Bains that had put up a stupendous show during Lok Sabha elections this year, failed badly in the bypolls as the party’s candidate Sukhdev Singh Chak, who was being considered a dark horse, garnered only 8,437 votes.

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Before the elections, all eyes were on LIP as the party’s star performer Simarjit Singh Bains had garnered 44,938 votes from Dakha during elections to the Ludhiana parliamentary seat in May this year.

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While Congress candidate Ravneet Singh Bittu had got 43,644 votes, SAD candidate and veteran Akali leader Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal had got only 28,896 from Dakha in parliamentary elections. Interestingly, during the Lok Sabha election, 1,22,363 voters had used their right to franchise through the voting machines, whereas this time 1,31,742 voters, which is nearly 9,379 more, exercised their franchise.

In a span of merely six months, the LIP lost 81% of its vote share in the assembly constituency. While Bains was not available for comments, party insiders said that the LIP chief was a popular mass leader who enjoyed huge support among the residents as well as NRI voters of the constituency, but Chak neither had the charisma or the popularity among people of the constituency.

The party’s star campaigner Bains had also faced criticism from both Congress and SAD in the run-up to elections for not campaigning enough in the segment.

While SAD was accused Bains of siding with the Congress and forging a backdoor alliance, Congress, on the other hand, claimed that Bains’ absence would help SAD in consolidating its vote bank.

While Simarjit Singh Bains was not available for comments, party spokesperson Munish Vinayak said the party will soon conduct a meeting to assess the cause of loss.

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