Chandigarh (Punjab) [India]: Punjab Lok Congress Party chief captain and two-time chief minister Amarinder Singh lost from Patiala Urban by a margin of 19,873 votes to Aam Aadmi Party’s Ajit Pal Singh Kohli according to Assembly poll results declared by the Election Commission on Thursday.
Soon after the results were declared, the former chief minister took to Twitter to congratulate AAP and its chief ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann.
“I accept the verdict of the people with all humility…Congratulation to AAP Punjab and Bhagwant Mann,” tweeted Singh.
Singh also took a dig at his former party Congress, which failed to retain power in the state. “Punjabis have shown true spirit of Punjabiyat by rising and voting above sectarian and caste lines,” read Singh’s tweet.
As per the Election Commission, Aam Aadmi Party is leading in 92 seats on the 117 seat Punjab Assembly by 2:45 pm, followed by Congress (17) and Shiromani Akali Dal (6).
It is AAP’s maiden victory in the state and a vast improvement from its performance in the 2017 elections when it had finished second behind Congress.
Congress went into the polls, battling factionalism and anti-incumbency. The party changed its Chief Minister in September last year even as the party’s new state unit chief Navjot Singh Sidhu hinted about his own chief ministerial ambitions. Congress finally declared Charanjit Singh Channi as the first Dalit Chief Minister of Punjab, endorsing him for the chief ministerial face days before the polling on February 20.
The Shiromani Akali Dal, which had broken off the alliance with the BJP over the three farm laws that were eventually repealed, tied up with Bahujan Samaj Party for the Assembly elections.
It is the first time that the BJP fought on over 65 seats in Punjab. It tied up with former Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s Punjab Lok Congress and SAD (Sanyukt) led by SS Dhindsa.
Punjab recorded an average voter turnout of 65.50 per cent on February 20 compared to over 77 per cent in 2017.