AAP makes mark in Punjab
After making remarkable presence in the Delhi assembly elections held in December last, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has spoiled the party of NDA in Punjab. The party contesting Lok Sabha elections for the first time, has on Friday opened its account in the state by winning four seats, surprising many even in the party.
The party won Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala and Sangrur Lok Sabha seats.
However, it sprung a surprise in Patiala when party candidate Dharam Vira Gandhi, a medico turned politician, trounced union minister Preneet Kaur from her bastion.
Kaur, who won the 2009 election with a margin of 97,389 votes and is known as the ‘Maharani’ as she hails from the erstwhile royal family of Patiala lost from her home turf.
From Sangrur, AAP candidate Bhagwant Mann defeated Shiromani Akali Dal’s Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa with a whopping margin of 2,11,721 votes. The stand-up comedian had initially contested in the assembly election as a People’s Party of Punjab (PPP)candidate and lost. He later quit the PPP to join AAP.
Another AAP candidate Sadhu Singh trounced Parmjit Kaur Gulshan, a Shiromani Akali Dal candidate from Faridkot constituency by a margin of 1,72,516 votes.
Harinder Singh Khalsa, another AAP candidate defeated Congress' Sadhu Singh Dharamsot from Fatehgarh Sahib by over 54,144 votes.
‘We have emerged as an imporatant party in two states (Delhi anbd Punjab). Punjab is a good news for AAP and we have secured over 24 per cent votes. It will change the equations there and Punjab politics will now be tri-polar,’ party leader Yogendra Yadav said.
Interestingly, the party has bagged two per cent lesser votes than the ruling SAD, which bagged over 26 per cent votes. Despite the high vote share of 33 per cent, it has managed to win only three seats while AAP and SAD have both won 4 seats each and the BJP bagged two seats with a vote share of 8.7 per cent.
Party sources said that it will focus on the state in a big way during the assembly elections.