Sangrur LS bypoll on June 23; litmus test for AAP
Though Sangrur is the stronghold of AAP, the LS bypoll will be the first major election for the party after it formed the government in Punjab in March
The bypoll for the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat will be held on June 23, the Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Wednesday.
The counting of votes will take place on June 26.
Chief Electoral officer S Karuna Raju said that with the ECI announcement of the bypoll, the model code of conduct is in place in the constituency.
The constituency includes three districts— Sangrur, Barnala and Malerkotla.
Though Sangrur is the stronghold of AAP, it will be the first major poll for the party after it formed the government in Punjab in March.
The bypoll is necessitated after Punjab chief minister Bhagwant Mann vacated the seat following his election in the Punjab assembly. He resigned from the Lok Sabha on March 14. Mann is an MLA from Dhuri, an assembly segment of the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat.
As far as previous track record of the party is concerned, AAP has won this seat with majority of votes in 2014 and 2019 polls. In the February assembly polls, AAP has won all nine assembly segments of this Lok Sabha seat.
For AAP, Bhagwant Mann’s sister Manpreet Kaur is amongst the probable for the party ticket. She has already shown her desire by saying that she will abide by the decision of the party, if she was asked to contest.
The Shiromani Akali Dal is on a weak wicket in the constituency as it had snapped ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party, while SAD’s strongman of Sangrur area Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa has already floated his own outfit SAD (Sanyukt), leaving the party in lurch.
In 2019 general elections, SAD had fielded Sukhdev Dhindsa’s son and former minister Parminder Singh Dhindsa, who had finished third. In 2022 assembly polls, most of SAD candidates finished third in assembly segments falling in Sangrur lok Sabha.
In view of the by-poll, Punjab Congress president Amrinder Singh Raja Warring has already held a whirlwind tour of the constituency and even dared BJP Leader Sunil Jakhar to contest this bypoll against him.
The Congress, though, has a strong presence in the constituency but they didn’t have any prominent leader who can match the poll campaign of CM Mann. There is no leader from Congress who has come forward to make a claim for the ticket.
Simranjit Singh Mann, President SAD (Amritsar), has already announced his candidature and started touring the constituency.