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Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | Radical preacher Amritpal Singh tops Punjab margin, wins by 1.93 lakh votes

Amritpal (31) who positioned himself on lines of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale, stirred hardliner sentiments in Punjab and was arrested last year after a month-long manhunt, won from Khadoor Sahib by a whopping margin of 1.93 lakh votes - which is the highest by any winning candidate in Punjab in these polls.
Last Updated : 05 June 2024, 00:35 IST
Last Updated : 05 June 2024, 00:35 IST

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Chandigarh: The striking fragment of results in Punjab turned out to be the stunning triumph of two Independents, both Sikh radicals including Amritpal Singh, a Khalistan ideologue and self-styled Sikh preacher currently lodged in Assam’s Dibrugarh jail under NSA charges.

Amritpal (31) who positioned himself on lines of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrawale, stirred hardliner sentiments in Punjab and was arrested last year after a month-long manhunt, won from Khadoor Sahib by a whopping margin of 1.93 lakh votes - which is the highest by any winning candidate in Punjab in these polls.

The victory underscored the ascendance of radical sentiments, even as the Congress managed majority stake in these parliamentary polls winning 7 of the 13 seats in Punjab, down 1 seat since last time.

Another radical Sarabjeet Singh Khalsa, the son of Beant Singh, one of the assassins of Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, won the Faridkot seat by a margin of more than 70,000 votes. All mainstream and regional parties lost sizable vote share.

The Punjab BJP remained the only party to increase its vote share by nearly three times: up from 6.6% to 19% in 2024.

The AAP managed to win just three seats. The BJP failed to translate its increased vote share into seats. It contested for the first time since 1996 without the SAD (Badal) as an ally now has its eyes set on the 2027 assembly polls for which it has now laid the foundation. The SAD (Badal) could only win a single seat, from Bathinda.

The vote share of all parties dipped sizeably. Congress lost 13%, AAP 16% (considering its 2022 vote share), SAD 14%. The BJP, successfully managed to consolidate the Hindu vote share in Punjab which is a sizeable 39%. It cut into the vote share of both the Congress and the AAP.

Rout for regional parties

Neighboring Haryana conveyed a decisive verdict signaling a near total rout of the regional parties- the JJP (its vote share was reduced to less than 1%) and the INLD. Both the Congress and the BJP won five seats each. The Congress vote share jumped 17% in Haryana since last time translating into five seats, presenting worrying signs for the BJP ahead of the assembly elections just six months down the line.  

The Haryana results sent out warning shots for the BJP since the party that won 10 seats in 2019 was reduced to half its tally in these elections. The saffron outfit also lost 12% vote share. The Congress managed to consolidate the dominant Jat voters and certain sections of the OBC voters to its advantage. The counter-polarization of the Jat votes adversely impacted the BJP’s prospects. The farmer protest also hit the BJP in Punjab and Haryana. The seat from capital city Chandigarh was won by former union minister Manish Tiwari by a narrow margin. 

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Published 05 June 2024, 00:35 IST

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