Sangrur (Punjab) [India], June 26 (ANI): In a major setback to the ruling Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) leader Simranjit Singh Mann on Sunday claimed victory in the Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll, the home turf of Chief Minister and AAP leader Bhagwant Singh Mann.
"This is a great win for our party. We have defeated all national parties in this bypoll. My priority will be to raise the issue of the poor economic condition of Sangrur including the condition of farmers under debt. We will work with the Punjab government," said Mann.
"I am grateful to our voters of Sangrur for having elected me as your representative in parliament. I will work hard to ameliorate the sufferings of our farmers, farm-labour, traders and everyone in my constituency, he added.
The final outcome is yet to come but the trends are signalling victory for Simranjit Singh Mann.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) chief Sukhbir Singh Badal congratulated Mann and said, "I sincerely and wholeheartedly congratulate Sardar Simranjit Singh Mann and his party on their electoral victory in Sangrur parliamentary bypoll and offer them our best wishes and cooperation. We bow before the mandate of the people in a true democratic spirit."Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring also congratulated Mann."Humbly accept people's verdict in Sangrur bypoll. My congratulations to Simranjit Singh Mann Ji for his victory. I am sure he would keep raising Punjab's voice in his new role. The result reflects displeasure of public with Aam Aadmi Party insensitive and inept governance," tweeted Warring.
On the other hand, Congress MP Ravneet Singh Bittu took a pot shot at Sukhbir Badal-led SAD for its candidate's defeat.
"Kamaldeep Rajoana, representative of violent terrorists and sinking Akali dal is set to forfeit her security deposit and face huge loss getting roughly only 5 per cent votes. Sukhbir Badal, Pannu 2020 and Rajoana should come and try now to save their candidates' deposit," Bittu said in a Twitter post.
BJP leader Manjinder Singh Sirsa said the Sangrur Bypoll results indicated that Punjab has rejected the Delhi model of the AAP government."Punjab has clearly rejected Delhi Model. AAP Punjab losing Sangrur Bypoll is a warning signal to Bhagwant Mann to take command in his hand," Sirsa said in a Twitter post.
Sangrur is known as the stronghold of AAP incumbent Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann from where he had won the parliamentary seat in 2014 and 2019. The seat fell vacant after Mann resigned as MP following his victory from the Dhuri constituency in the state assembly polls.
The counting of votes on Sunday began amid tight security. "A company of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and 600 police personnel are deployed," said Superintendent of Police, Barnala.
Besides Sangrur, counting of votes of bypolls in two other Lok Sabha constituencies - Rampur and Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh began on Sunday. Further, the counting of votes is also underway for the bypolls of seven assembly seats spread across Tripura, Jharkhand, Andhra Pradesh and Delhi.
The bypolls were held on June 23.
In Tripura, assembly bypoll was held in Agartala, Jubarajnagar, Surma and Town Bardowali.
The other constituencies where assembly bypolls were held were Rajinder Nagar in Delhi, Mandar in Jharkhand's Ranchi district and Atmakuru in Andhra Pradesh. The bypolls were necessitated in these seats due to the resignations of the legislators in two seats, disqualification of an MLA in one, and the death of one of the MLAs midterm.
The bypolls in Tripura were crucial for Chief Minister Dr Manik Saha who replaced Biplab Kumar Deb last month. The dentist-turned politician himself is a candidate and is fighting his first-ever direct election to save his CM seat.
The bye-elections to the Azamgarh seat were necessitated due to the resignation of Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav, who was elected to the Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly as an MLA in the elections earlier this year.
Seats fell vacant in Azamgarh and Rampur after Samajwadi Party (SP) leadersAkhilesh Yadav and Azam Khan resigned as MPs from the seats after winning in the 2022 Assembly elections.
Akhilesh was elected as an MLA from the Karhal assembly seat while Azam Khan was elected from the Rampur Sadar constituency.
Delhi's Rajinder Nagar seat remained vacated after the AAP MP Raghav Chadha was nominated for the Rajya Sabha from Punjab on March 21.
The AAP had fielded Durgesh Pathak for filling the Chadha's vacant seat of Rajinder Nagar against the former Bharatiya Janata Party councillor Rajesh Bhatia and Congress' Prem Lata. (ANI)