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Congress wins big in Punjab Amritsar Lok Sabha seat bypoll

March 11, 2017

amrinder-khJG--621x414@LiveMintChandigarh: Congress candidate Gurjit Singh Aujla on Saturday won the Amritsar Lok Sabha seat with a huge margin of 1,99,189 votes over nearest rival Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina of the BJP.

The bypoll was held simultaneously with the Punjab assembly elections. As per the results declared on Saturday, the Congress candidate got 5,08,153 votes, BJP’s Chhina got 3,08,964 votes followed by Aam Aadmi Party’s Upkar Singh Sandhu, who got 1,49,984 votes. The seat had fallen vacant when Captain Amarinder Singh resigned last year to protest against the Supreme Court’s verdict on the SYL canal water sharing agreement.

The seat was earlier represented by Amarinder, who had defeated the present Union finance minister Arun Jaitley in a high profile battle during the 2014 General elections. The Amritsar Lok Sabha seat was earlier also represented by Navjot Singh Sidhu, who won it on three occasions as a BJP candidate.

However, Sidhu this year crossed over to the Congress and fought the assembly elections from Amritsar-East constituency, which he won. Chhina has been BJP’s Punjab state vice-president earlier and is now its executive member. He had unsuccessfully contested the 2007 assembly elections from the Amritsar-West segment. Aujla, who is considered close to Amarinder, was appointed vice-president of the Amritsar District Youth Congress in 1997 and has been District Congress Committee (Rural) president since 2013.

Having been represented by Gurmukh Singh Musafir and then R.L. Bhatia, the Amritsar Lok Sabha had traditionally remained a Congress bastion until a young Najvot Singh Sidhu (now 53 years), entered the fray as a BJP candidate and wrested it in 2004 parliamentary elections. From 2004, the seat remained with Sidhu till 2014. However, in the last parliamentary elections, Sidhu made way for Jaitley, who contested the seat as a BJP candidate and lost to Amarinder.


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