Election 2017

Low voting percentage in Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bye-poll may help Congress

October 11, 2017 03:43 PM

Punjab News Express
GURDASPUR: The low voting in Gurdaspur Lok Sabha bye-poll may boost the winning chances of Congress party even as the main contest here is between Congress and SAD-BJP alliance. Till 2 PM only 40 percent voting was reported from nine Vidhan Sabha segments part of Lok Sabha constituency.

The main fight is between Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Swarn Salaria, Congress' Sunil Kumar Jakhar, the Punjab Congress President, and Aam Aadmi Party's retired Major General Suresh Kumar Khajuria.

The Congress party has tried to divert the course of election campaign by raking up issue of rape case and sex video of SAD leader Such Singh Langah. The Congress has succeeded to some extent to blunt the opposition attack and put SAD-BJP alliance on the defensive. The character of BJP candidate Swaran Salaria added up to sleazy camapaign.

There is fear that diverting from core issues and focussing on sex scandal, the Sikh voters may not turn up to vote for SAD-BJP alliance. Congress party being in power has the advantage of pulling its cadre to the polling booths. The low voting pattern would impoact SAD-BJP alliance. It seemed part of well planned political stratefy of Congress to isolate Sikh voters from SAD. It is expectred that Sikh and rural voters would remain the deciding factor here.  Sikh voters were disillussioned with the performance of SAD-BJP alliance and also six months rule of Congress party.  Keeping the Sikh voters away from polling would be Congress gain.

The AAP is depending on the image of its candidate Maj Gen Suresh Kumar Khajuria and its workers worked hard to reach out to every housold. Though AAP kept its campaign low profile but it has worked at micro level. The other traditional parties have pumped in huie money to win over voters considering it a prestigious election. AAP may not win but its vote share would decide party's future in Punjab.

Menawhil, Police said five to six people were injured in clashes between Congress and BJP-Akali activists.Tight security arrangements are in place.

Nearly 15.22 lakh voters, who are eligible to exercise their franchise, will decide the fate of 11 candidates in the fray.

In the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency, which comprises nine assembly seats, the Congress won seven segments in the assembly polls. One each went to the Akali Dal and BJP.

The AAP, the main opposition party in the Punjab Assembly, could play a spoiler for both the parties. The result will be announced on October 15.

The Lok Sabha seat fell vacant in April following the passing away of veteran actor Vinod Khanna due to cancer. Gurdaspur is the first parliamentary constituency in the country where all polling stations will have Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) machines.

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