Sangrur Poll Shocker: AAP Loses Battle for Its ‘Mann’ to Simranjit Singh Mann from Akali Dal (Amristar)

Delivering a body blow to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which romped home with 92 assembly seats in the recently held elections, its candidate lost from politically important Sangrur parliamentary constituency, the bypolls for which were held after sitting MP and Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann vacated it.

In a cliffhanger of an electoral battle between AAP candidate Gurmail Singh and SAD Amritsar leader Simranjit Singh Mann, the latter scraped through with a margin of over 6,000 votes.

Although the victory of AAP in his bastion looked a certainty just a month back, but the killing of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala killing and successful “noise” created against AAP by right-wing Sikh politicians seem to have upset its calculations.

The low voter turnout is also being cited as a reason for the debacle in the Sangrur polls as its being believed that disappointed supporters of AAP had decided to stay away.

“Right Sikh supporters had no reason to stay home,” commented an analyst.

The AAP has now joined ranks with the Congress and Shiromani Akali Dal in terms of voters’ disillusionment, within just 100 days of rule. It is being seen as alarming for a party which was hoping to make inroads into the neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh.

Significantly, all nine assembly seats that fall in Sangrur parliamentary seats are represented by AAP MLAs.

In the elections held in February, the party had bagged an average of 40% votes. This time, the total polling percentage was 45 percent.

What is worse is that it will also put a question mark on the leadership of Bhagwant Mann as the Chief Minister. Sangrur was represented by him for the past two terms — in 2014 and 2019. He had won this seat when there was a clear Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) wave across the country.

The byelection was necessitated after his resignation. The entire top brass of the party, including Mann, had campaigned vigorously for the party candidate.

Although the party pollsters tried hard to wean away the voters from the law and order situation in Punjab to the government’s drive against corruption, it has apparently not yielded results.

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