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AAP Races Ahead In Key Jalandhar Election, Widens Gap With Congress

AAP Races Ahead In Key Jalandhar Election, Widens Gap With Congress

The Aam Aadmi Party has raced ahead in Jalandhar’s four-cornered Lok Sabha by-poll, early trends from the counting of votes showed. Sushil Kumar Rinku, a former Congress MLA from the Jalandhar West constituency in the previous assembly who switched to AAP, is ahead of his closest rival, Congress’s Karamjit Kaur, the wife of Santokh Chaudhary, whose death during the Bharat Jodo Yatra necessitated the by-poll, by 16,579 votes.

AAP had, as of 10 am, 91,072 votes, as it steadily widened the gap with Congress which had 77,076 votes. BJP was third with 48,918 votes, and the Akali-BSP combine in the fourth place with 42,763 votes.

BJP has fielded Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal, a Dalit Sikh, who quit the Shiromani Akali Dal to join the saffron party.

The Jalandhar seat fell vacant after the death of Congress MP Santokh Singh Chaudhary. He suffered a cardiac arrest during the party’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Jalandhar’s Phillaur in January this year.

Counting for four assembly seats —  Suar and Chhanbey in Uttar Pradesh, Jharsuguda in Odisha, and Sohiong in Meghalaya — is also being held today along with the one Lok Sabha seat in Punjab.

While Akhilesh Yadav’s Samajwadi Party is leading in Mirzapur district’s Chhanbey with 53 per cent votes, and BJP-ally Apna Dal is in second position with 37.3, it’s the opposite in Suar, where Apna Dal so far has 57.1 per cent votes, and the Samajwadi Party 39.5 per cent.

Biju Janata Dal is leading in Odisha with 61.8 per cent votes so far, and the BJP trailing with 33.7 per cent votes. In Meghalaya, United Democratic Party is leading with 56.4 per cent votes, and the National People’s Party has 37.7 per cent.

In Uttar Pradesh’s Suar and Chhanbey seats, there is a face off between the ruling coalition and the opposition Samajwadi Party. Though the results will have no precipitative impact on the constitution of the assembly, it will be a morale booster for the victor before the Lok Sabha poll next year.The Mayawati-led Bahujan Samaj Party has decided to not contest the by-elections, while the Congress has fielded its candidate only in Chhanbey.

In Meghalaya, a by-poll was necessitated due to the death of UDP candidate HDR Lyngdoh ahead of the assembly elections held in the rest of the state on February 27. Polling to Sohiong was then postponed due to Lyngdoh’s death.

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