Congress says Punjab bypoll result beginning of end for Akalis, AAP

Chandigarh, Aug 25: Congress today said the bypoll result in Punjab is the beginning of end for the Akalis while AAP remained disappointed as in the bypolls to Patiala and Talwandi Sabo Assembly seats the party received a severe drubbing.

Congress Deputy Leader in the Lok Sabha Amarinder Singh said the bypoll result of Patiala Assembly seat is the beginning of end for the Akalis in Punjab.

"They (the Akalis) won Talwandi Sabo for the reasons best known to everybody like misuse of government machinery and brute use of power," he said in a statement here. The senior Congress leader said they tried to do the same thing here also but were not allowed to do so by the Congress workers.

Preneet Kaur, who drubbed Akali candidate Bhagwan Dass Juneja, said it was victory of the people of Patiala, who had once again reaffirmed their faith and confidence in her and her family. Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal termed the results of the two Assembly bypolls as "a vindication of the policies and performance of the SAD-BJP combine government" in the state.

SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal hailed the landslide victory of Jeet Mohinder Singh Sidhu in Talwandi Sabo Assembly seat, saying the devastating defeat of both AAP candidates as well as the erosion in support for the Congress in Patiala was a reflection on the popularity of both the parties. He said Pradesh Congress president Partap Singh Bajwa should now read the writing on the wall the resign from his post fortwith.

Meanwhile, Aam Aadmi Party remained disappointed as in the bypolls to both the seats the party received a severe drubbing at the hands of ruling Akalis and main opposition Congress. The results of bypolls to the two seats was a shocker for the AAP as it was keenly looking for an opening in Punjab Assembly by hoping to register win in any of the seats.

Patiala AAP's candidate Harjit Singh lost his security deposit whereas Baljinder Kaur of the party too received a bad drubbing in Talwandi Sabo.

While Harjit polled just 5,734 votes from Patiala, Kaur could manage 13,899 votes from Talwandi Sabo. Both forfeited their security deposits.

Kaur turned third after SAD's Sidhu and Congress candidate Harminder Singh Jassi. In Talwandi Sabo, Balkar Singh, a rebel, who was earlier allotted ticket by AAP but later replaced by Baljinder Kaur, could manage only 6305 votes.

However, unfazed by the drubbing at the hands of SAD and Congress in the bypolls, Punjab's AAP spokesman H S Phoolka welcomed the peoples' verdict.

"AAP existed as people want an alternative in the politics to the major political players," he said, adding, "we are here as people want a change".

He, however, exuded confidence that AAP is "not greedy" for posts but is an alternative that could provide "clean politics." Phoolka said AAP will continue its fight against "corruption, drug trafficking and politicians and officers nexus" in the state.


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