GURDASPUR: Having conceded the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha election in 2014 to Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP), the Congress on Sunday was once again able to wrest the seat by recording an impressive victory margin of 1.93 lakh votes.
The bye-election, necessitated after the demise of BJP MP Vinod Khanna, who had won by a 1.35 lakh vote margin, turned out to be a cakewalk for the Congress candidate and state unit chief, Sunil Kumar Jakhar. He polled 4,99,752 votes against the 3,06,553 votes cast for runner-up and BJP candidate Sawarn Singh Salaria. AAP candidate Suresh Khajuria couldn’t save his security deposit after receiving just 23,579 votes.
The previous record for the highest margin of victory in Gurdaspur was held by former Congress MP Sukhbans Kaur Bhinder, who had won with a margin of 1.51 lakh votes in 1980. Sunday’s landslide win for the Congress holds importance ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha election, with the party hailing it as the “people’s mandate” against the BJP.
“I had said it from the very first day that this election will be a mandate on the policies of union government led by Modi. People have vent their anger against demonetisation and GST by making me an MP with a huge margin of votes. I had asked people to vote for me and against BJP’s economic and communal agenda. People have responded to my call and it has sent a clear message to union government on the behalf of whole country that people are fed up from its policies and it is time for change,” Jakhar said.