AAP emerges in Punjab, BJP gains in Haryana, Chandigarh
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made inroads into Punjab's political scene even as the BJP gained in neighbouring Haryana and Chandigarh.
Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley was the big loss for the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine in Punjab. He was defeated by former chief minister and Congress candidate Amarinder Singh by nearly one lakh votes.
The AAP won the Sangrur seat where its candidate, actor-comedian Bhagwant Mann, was elected, defeating former union minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa (Akali Dal) and sitting MP Vijay Inder Singla (Congress). Mann was ahead of Dhindsa by over 2.1 lakh votes.
Even as it drew a blank everywhere else in the country, AAP candidates were leading in Punjab's Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib and Faridkot seats.
AAP candidate in Patiala, cardiologist Dharam Vira Gandhi was leading over Akali Dal's Deepinder Dhillon and Minister of State for External Affairs Preneet Kaur (Congress).
The Akali Dal retained the Ferozepur seat by a margin of over 31,000 votes and was leading in three other seats - Bathinda, Khadoor Sahib and Anandpur Sahib.
Its alliance partner BJP was leading in Gurdaspur with its candidate, actor Vinod Khanna, and in Hoshiarpur.
The Congress, which won the Amritsar seat, was leading on two other seats - Jalandhar and Ludhiana.
There are 13 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab.
In Chandigarh's lone seat, actress Kirron Kher (BJP) defeated former railways minister Pawan Kumar Bansal (Congress) by nearly 70,000 votes. Actress Gul Panag of AAP was a close third on this seat.
In Haryana, the BJP was leading on seven out of 10 seats.
The ruling Congress, which had won nine seats in the 2009 general elections, got a drubbing with its candidate leading on only one seat. Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda's son Deepender Hooda was leading on the Rohtak seat.
The BJP was leading with formidable leads on the Gurgaon, Karnal, Ambala, Sonipat, Bhiwani-Mahendergarh, Kurukshetra and Faridabad seats.
The Indian National Lok Dal led on two seats, Sirsa and Hisar.