BJP candidate from Sangrur Lok Sabha seat Kewal Singh Dhillon casts his vote as polling is underway in the constituency. (Photo: ANI/Twitter)
Chandigarh: Voting began on Thursday morning for bypolls to Punjab’s Sangrur Lok Sabha seat, where the ruling AAP is facing its first test of popularity after its impressive performance in the assembly polls.
Voting began at 8 am and will go on till 6 pm amid tight security, officials said, adding that the counting of votes will be done on June 26. There are 15,69,240 eligible voters – 8,30,056 males, 7,39,140 females and 44 from the transgender community – in the Sangrur parliamentary constituency.
A total of 16 candidates, including three women, are in the fray.
The bypolls are being held at a time when the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is facing the heat of the opposition over the law and order issue and the killing of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala.
The candidates fielded by the Congress, the BJP and the SAD are expected to cause electoral turmoil, while the AAP is looking to repeat its feat of the 2022 assembly polls, in which it won all the nine assembly constituencies under the Sangrur Lok Sabha constituency. I had won.
Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann campaigned extensively and held a roadshow along with AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Monday and urged voters to elect the party’s candidate Gurmel Singh as the party’s in-charge of Sangrur district.
Mann expressed confidence that the revolutionary people of Sangrur would once again vote for the common man and AAP’s Gurmail Singh would win the by-election with a thumping majority.
Congress, BJP and SAD had targeted the AAP government during the election campaign over the “deteriorating” law and order situation in the state and also raised the issue of killing of Punjabi singer Moosewala.
Apart from law and order, opposition parties have criticized the AAP government for its “unfulfilled promises”. The main opposition Congress has fielded former Dhuri MLA Dalveer Singh Goldy in the bypoll, while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has fielded former Barnala MLA Kewal Dhillon, who joined the saffron party on June 4.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has fielded Kamaldeep Kaur, sister of former Punjab Chief Minister Beant Singh murder case convict Balwant Singh Rajoana. Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) chief Simranjit Singh Mann is also in the fray.
The Sangrur Lok Sabha seat fell vacant after Bhagwant Mann resigned from the post of MP after winning the Dhuri seat in the assembly elections held on February 20. The CM had won the Sangrur seat in the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections.
Of the remaining 12 Lok Sabha seats in Punjab, the Congress has eight seats, while the BJP and the SAD have two seats each.
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