The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has secured lead in 23 assembly segments in Lok Sabha elections in the state.
However, the party claims the tally to be 25 by including Majitha and Batala segments, represented by SAD MLAs, falling in Amritsar and Gurdaspur parliamentary seats won by its alliance partner.
Jointly, the SAD-BJP alliance claims to have touched the 35-mark with the saffron party leading in 10 other segments.
In 2017 state polls, the alliance tally was 18 as the SAD had won 15 assembly seats and the BJP 3.
Party president Sukhbir Singh Badal took the lead this time by taking lead in all nine assembly segments falling in Ferozour Lok Sabha seat, which he won with the highest margin of 1.98 lakh votes in the state.
From Jalalabad, the seat he represents as MLA, Sukhbir polled the maximum votes (88,857) as compared to other segments where SAD has secured leads. In Derabassi, the seat represented by SAD treasurer NK Sharma, the party got the second highest votes (87,933).
In Bathinda, SAD secured leads on five seats — Lambi (represented by Akali patriarch Parkash Singh Badal), Bhucho, Bathinda urban and rural and Budhlada. Sukhbir’s wife Harsimrat Kaur won the seat for third time in a row.
However, the cause of worry for the SAD is that it lost on five seats it won in 2017 assembly polls. Of these, the BSP got leads in Banga (Anandpur Sahib) and Adampur (Jalandhar), while the Congress maintained lead in Phillaur (Jalandhar), Sardulgarh (Bathinda) and Sanaur (Patiala).
“Banga and Adampur results show that Dalits are searching for separate political scape as they voted for the BSP candidate,” said Pramod Kumar, director at the Institute Of Development and Communication.
Of the 15 seats it won in 2017, the SAD lost one to Congress in the bypoll after its sitting MLA Ajit Singh Kohar died. Congress’ Hardev Singh Laddi won the seat and the SAD tally in the assembly came down to 14.
Other than Ferozepur and Bathinda where SAD president and his wife won, SAD nominees could not make a visible mark on in the state.
In Khadoor Sahib, where SAD’s Jagir Kaur contested, the party couldn’t get a lead in single assembly. Similarly in Ludhiana Maheshinder Singh Grewal put up a nil show.
Fatehgarh Sahib candidate DS Guru, Faridkot’s Gulzar Singh Ranike and Patiala’s Surjeet Singh Rakhra could get a lead on one assembly seat each.
SAD’s Sangrur candidate Parminder Singh Dhindsa could also retain only Lehragaga segment where he’s a sitting MLA.
Charanjit Singh Atwal, who contested from Jalandhar, put up a better show by getting lead in three assembly seats, followed by sitting MP from Anandpur Sahib Prem Singh Chandumajra, who could maintain lead on two segments.
SAD Rajya Sabha MP Balwinder Singh Bhunder said, “The scenario is improving for the party, but everyone needs to contribute their hard work for 2022 assembly polls.”
May 25, 2019 12:48 IST
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