Haryana verdict: BJP retains Panchkula, Kalka goes to CongressUpdated: Oct 25, 2019 00:46 IST
Gian Chand Gupta of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) managed to retain the high-stakes Panchkula assembly constituency, defeating Congress’s Chander Mohan by a margin of 5,633 votes.
The BJP, however, faced a major embarrassment in Kalka constituency, as its sitting MLA Latika Sharma lost to former Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) leader and now Congress candidate Pardeep Chaudhary by 5,931 votes.
The poll verdict suggested that it was a nail-biting contest for 71-year-old Gupta. His victory margin went down considerably from the last election when he won by 44,000 votes.
It was primarily due to a tough challenge he faced from former Haryana deputy chief minister Chander Mohan, 54, in peripheral and rural parts of the constituency.
However, Gupta retained the party’s core urban voter base that gave him a face-saving win this election.
“We will hold a core party meeting soon to introspect where we lacked in this election,” said Gupta after his win. “I am, however, thankful to people and party workers for the party’s election victory.”
Chander Mohan, while reacting on his defeat, said the Congress performed well by limiting the BJP to such a low-margin victory. “There were shortcomings, that we will improve upon,” he said, adding that he would not leave the constituency and remain with the people.
Meanwhile, sensing her rout, Latika Sharma stormed out of the counting centre in Sector 14, Panchkula, even before the final results for Kalka seat. Visibly dejected, she said: “I accept the people’s verdict, but I will keep doing work in my constituency.”
On the other hand, Pardeep Chaudhary said his win was the mandate on the non-performance of the sitting MLA and BJP at the state level. The Congress leader’s 37-year-old son Aman Chaudhary alleged Latika and her husband patronised illegal mining and drugs in the constituency and people taught a tough lesson to them. “We will not let it happen now,” he said.
The contest remained two-sided in both constituencies of the district.
In Panchkula, the combined vote percentage of INLD and AAP’s debutant faces, Karundeep Chaudhary and Yogeshwar Dutt, was less than 3%. In Kalka, JJP candidate Kiran Chaudhary managed to secure 6% votes and INLD’s Satinder Toni got 4%.