NATIONAL NEWS

Punjab bypoll: Congress wrests Akali Dal stronghold by huge margin

Chandigarh, May 31: Punjab’s ruling Congress won the Shahkot Assembly seat on Thursday by a huge margin of over 38,800 votes, wresting the seat from the Shiromani Akali Dal after over 20 years. Congress candidate Hardev Singh Ladi Sherowalia got 82,745 votes against the 43,944 votes polled by his Akali Dal rival Naib Singh Kohar in the by-election. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Rattan Singh got just around 1,900 votes and forfeited his security deposit. After the victory, Chief Minister Amarinder Singh told the media that the electorate had favoured the policies of the Congress and rejected those of the Akali Dal.
Cabinet Minister and Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu told reporters that the victory was important for the Congress since the Shahkot seat was an Akali Dal stronghold for over two decades. The seat fell vacant following the death of sitting Akali Dal legislator Ajit Singh Kohar in February. He was the father of the Akali Dal candidate. Kohar, a former minister, was elected five times from this seat. There were 12 candidates in the fray this time. A total of 76 per cent voting was reported on May 28. Punjab has a Congress government since March 2017. (IANS)