Ladi has the last laugh as SAD loses Shahkot
Punjab Congress president and Gurdaspur MP Sunil Jakhar and local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu addressed a press conference in Jalandhar, congratulating Laddi on the thumping win.punjab Updated: Jun 01, 2018 09:23 IST
The ruling Congress on Thursday wrested the Shahkot assembly seat by handing out a crushing defeat to the Shiromani Akali Dal with party candidate Hardev Singh Ladi Sherowali trouncing rival SAD’s Naib Singh Kohar by 38,802 votes.
The performance of the main opposition Aam Aadmi Party was dismal as its candidate Rattan Singh Kakkar Kalan manage to secure just 1,900 votes. The AAP had given a tough fight to the SAD and the Congress in Shahkot by getting 41,010 votes in 2017 assembly polls.
With this resounding victory, the Congress strength in the 117-member House will reach 78, a two-thirds majority. Ladi secured 82,747 votes while Kohar got 43,945, an official spokesman of the election office said. Shahkot was considered an Akali Dal pocket-borough from where late Ajit Singh Kohar was elected five-times in a row.
The contest was being seen as a test of the popularity of the 14-month-old Congress government in the state. Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh hailed the victory as a “vindication of the government’s people-centric policies”. The Congress win came amid a series of allegations and a case of illegal sand mining against Ladi.
The SAD leadership, led by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal and former minister Bikram Singh Majithia, raked up the issue during campaigning.
Kohar left the centre while counting was midway alleging that the EVMs were “rigged” and booths were captured. Kakkar Kalan, who also exited the centre while counting was underway, blamed the party’s 2017 assembly election candidate Dr Amarjit Singh Thind, who recently joined SAD, for this defeat.
Local bodies minister Navjot Singh Sidhu and Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar visited the counting centre to congratulate Ladi. .