The Aam Aadmi Party registered a landslide victory in the Punjab Assembly polls by wining 92 seats while the ruling Congress party faced a humiliating defeat, restricted to just 18 seats in the 117-member House.
The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) also received a major jolt as it could only win three seats while its alliance partner, the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) won one seat. The alliance of Bharatiya Janta Party-Punjab Lok Congress-Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt) also failed to leave any mark as the BJP was able to register a win on only 2 seats, the other two partners failed to even open their account. One seat went to an Independent candidate.
According to the Election Commission data, the AAP secured 42.1% of popular vote while the Congress secured 22.98% vote share. The SAD was able to get 18.38% of the vote share while the BJP got only 6.60% of the popular vote. The BSP could secure 1.77% vote share. NOTA share was 0.71%.
The debut of farmer unions under the banner of ‘Samyukt Samaj Morcha’ (SSM) — an amalgamation of 22 Punjab based farmer outfits that actively participated against Centre controversial farm laws — also failed to make any political impact.
It’s a revolution in Punjab, it will now spread all over the country: Kejriwal
Hailing the AAP’s performance in Punjab as a “revolution”, party national convenor Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday said that with their huge mandate, the people have said that Kejriwal is not a terrorist. First this revolution happened in Delhi, then in Punjab and it will now happen all over country, he said, as trends showed that the AAP was set to form government in the state. While addressing AAP leaders and workers at the party headquarters, the Delhi chief minister asked them to practice politics of love and said the coming days belong to India. He congratulated the voters of Punjab for leading the AAP to a “glorious victory” in the assembly polls and said they made political stalwarts bite the dust.
Who is Bhagwant Mann?
Major setback for Badals
It will be for the first time in three decades that the Badal family will have no representation in the 117-member Punjab Assembly. Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) patriarch and former chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, the oldest candidate in the polls at the age of 94, lost to AAP’s Gurmeet Singh Khudian from his traditional Lambi seat in Muktsar district. Parkash Badal was defeated by Khudian by a margin of 11,396 votes.
His son and SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, the MP from Ferozepur parliamentary constituency, had entered the fray from the Jalalabad seat in Fazilka district. However, he also lost to AAP’s Jagdeep Kamboj by a margin of 30,930 votes. - PTI
Bhagwant Mann’s journey from comedian to Chief Minister candidate
Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) chief ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann won Dhuri seat by a margin of 58,206 seats, beating his closest rival and Congress MLA Dalvir Singh Goldy. Donning the trademark yellow turban of freedom fighters, Mr. Mann (48) usually rallies the crowds with ‘inquilab zindabad’.
Incumbent CM Channi concedes defeat
Incumbent CM Charanjit Singh lost to Aam Aadmi Party candidates at both Chamkaur Sahib and Bhadaur by a margin of 7,942 and 37,558 votes respectively.
Former CMs lose
Incoming results of the Legislative Assembly elections put forth that neither the incumbent nor the former Chief Ministers of the state could secure a win.
The outgoing Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi lost in Bhadaur and was trailing AAP’s Dr Charanjit Singh by 7,942 votes in Chamkaur Sahib. He is trailing in Chamkaur Sahib.
His predecessor Capt Amarinder Singh, who competed with his newly-floated outfit Punjab Lok Congress, lost to AAP’s Ajit Pal Singh Kohli.
The Badals too could not secure their place in the state Legislative Assembly. Sukhbir Singh Badal was trailing by a margin of 25,477 to AAP’s Jagdeep Kamboj in Jalalabad whilst Prakash Singh Badal lost by a margin of 11,396 votes at Lambi.
Accept mandate given by people of Punjab with humility: Sukhbir Badal
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal said his party accepts the mandate given by the people with humility. He also congratulated the Aam Aadmi Party.
"We whole-heartedly & with total humility accept the mandate given by Punjabis. I am grateful to lakhs of Punjabis who placed their trust in us & to to SAD-BSP workers for their selfless toil. We will continue to serve them with humility in the role they have assigned to us," Sukhbir tweeted.
"As president of @Akali Dal_I congratulate @Aam Aadmi Party, @AAP Punjab & their leader@Bhagwant Mann on their victory in Punjab poll.
"I offer them my sincerest good wishes for success and I am sure they will live up to the people's expectations," Mr. Badal said.
Notably, the SAD had contested the polls in alliance with BSP, but both parties faced rout.
Ambedkar, Bhagat Singh's dreams are being fulfilled: Kejriwal
A jubliant Arvind Kejriwal dubbed Punjab victory as a "very big revolution". Addressing party workers at party headquarters in Delhi, the AAP chief said: "The result in Punjab is a very big revolution. Big chairs are shaking in Punjab.. Channi saab has lost, Captain saab has lost..."
"In the past 75 years, these parties were looting the people. They kept the Britishers' system. AAP has changed this in the last seven years," he added.
Baba Saheb's and Bhagat Singh's dreams are being fulfilled, Mr. Kejriwal said. - Nikhil M. Babu
Mann to take oath at Khatkarkalan; AAP govt’s focus to be on schools, industry
Aam Aadmi Party chief ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann on Thursday said the oath-taking ceremony of the new Punjab cabinet will be held at Khatkarkalan in Nawanshahr district, the ancestral village of legendary freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
“The oath-taking ceremony will not be held at Raj Bhawan, but at Khatkarkalan. The date will be announced later,” Mr. Mann said addressing party workers and supporters at Dhuri after the AAP appeared set for a clean sweep in Punjab having taken lead in 91 of the 117 assembly seats after initial rounds of counting of votes.
He also said that no government office will carry photograph of the chief minister. Instead, photos of Bhagat Singh and Dr Bhim Rao Ambedkar will be put on walls in government offices.
Appealing to people to work unitedly, he said those who did not vote for the AAP need not worry as the government will work for all sections of the society.
The thrust areas for his government would be improving the condition of schools, health infrastructure, bringing back industry, making agriculture profitable, and improving sports infrastructure.
He said sports tracks and stadiums will be set up in all villages.
Bhagwant Mann wins in Punjab by a margin of 58206 votes
AAP CM candidate Bhagwant Mann wins in Dhuri by a margin of 58206 votes against Congress’ Dalvir Singh Goldy, according to an update by ECI.
AAP has won 11 seats, BJP and an independent one each, and Congress two seats, according to an update at 2:16 pm.
BJP secures Pathankot in Punjab
BJP’s Ashwani Kumar Sharma wins from Pathankot by a margin of 7,759 votes. INC’s Amit Vij stood second.
Capt Amarinder Singh loses to AAP’s Ajit Pal Singh Kohli by a margin of 19,873 votes
Capt Amarinder Singh loses to AAP’s Ajit Pal Singh Kohli by a margin of 19,873 votes, ECI data confirms.
AAP also confirmed its seat in Lehra. Its candidate Barinder Kumar Goyal Vakeel won against Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt)‘a Parminder Singh Dhindsa.
“We will expand Kejriwal model of governance to other States”
"We will expand Kejriwal model of governance to other states and AAP will contest Assembly elections in Haryana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, and Karnataka," AAP chief spokesperson Saurabh Bharadwaj told The Hindu.
"AAP has become the fourth party after BJP, Congress, and the left to form government in a second state in 70 years. Other parties such as BSP or TMC could not do it. No one else could do it," he said.
The AAP is leading in 91 out of 117 seats in the Punjab Assembly at 1 pm, as per the Election Commission of India website.
Several turncoats trailing in Punjab
Several party hoppers including Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi, Fateh Jang Singh Bajwa and Anil Joshi were trailing from their respective constituencies in Punjab, according to poll trends.
Ahead of the assembly polls, several leaders had switched sides.
Former sports minister Sodhi had quit the Congress and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party and contested from Ferozepur City seat. Mr. Sodhi, a four-time MLA from Guruharsahai in Ferozepur, was trailing from Ferozepur seat, the trends showed.
Former Congress leader Bajwa, who had joined the BJP, and fought from Batala seat was trailing. Aam Aadmi Party candidate Amansher Singh is leading from Batala seat over his nearest rival and Congress candidate Ashwani Sekhri, according to trends.
Fateh Jang Bajwa was a sitting legislator from Qadian seat from where the Congress fielded his elder brother and Rajya Sabha member Partap Singh Bajwa. Former Punjab minister Joshi, who quit the BJP and joined the SAD last year, contested from Amritsar North assembly seat.
Former Congress leader Harjot Kamal, who too had joined the BJP, fought from Moga assembly seat. Kamal left the Congress after the party denied him the ticket from Moga.
Former Punjab minister and three-time MLA Joginder Singh Mann, who joined the AAP after snapping his 50-year-old ties with the Congress, fought from Phagwara seat. However, Congress candidate Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal was leading over BSP nominee Jasvir Singh Garhi from Phagwara seat. -PTI
BJP parliamentary board meeting likely on Thursday evening
The BJP parliamentary board, its apex organisational body, is likely to meet later on Thursday to review the party's performance in assembly polls in five States as initial trends projected a thumping victory for the party in Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to address party workers at the BJP headquarters in the evening, sources said.
Top party leaders, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and party president J.P. Nadda, will be attending the parliamentary board meeting. -PTI
Navjot Singh Sidhu congratulates AAP
Mr. Sidhu trails by 4,267 votes to AAP’s Jeevan Jyot Kaur in Amritsar East.
“The voice of the people is the voice of God …. Humbly accept the mandate of the people of Punjab …. Congratulations to Aap !!!,” he said in a tweet.
Kejriwal congratulates the people of Punjab
As the AAP appeared set for a clean sweep in Punjab, the party’s national convener Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday congratulated the people of the state “for this revolution”. “Many congratulations to the people of Punjab for this revolution,” Kejriwal, the Delhi chief minister, said in a tweet in Hindi.
In the tweet, he also posted a picture of him standing with the AAP’s chief ministerial candidate and MP Bhagwant Mann, with both leaders flashing victory sign.
Mann expands lead by 38,912 votes
Bhagwant Mann expands lead by 38,912 votes against INC’s Dalvir Singh Goldy
Malvika Sood trailing by 12,016 votes
INC candidate and Actor Sonu Sood’s sister Malvika Sood trailing by 12,016 votes to AAP’s Amandeep Kaur Arora, as of 12:15 pm.
She stood at third spot in early trends.
AAP leading in reserved constituencies
AAP leading in 26 out of 34 reserved constituencies in Punjab. Congress leads in 4, BJP in 2, BSP and SAD in 1 each.
At 32%, Punjab has the highest proportion of SC population of all States.
Parkash Singh Badal trailing by 4,385 votes
Five-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was seeking re-election from his home turf Lambi, was trailing behind his nearest rival and AAP candidate Gurmeet Singh Khudian by a margin of 4,385 votes.
At 94, Badal is the country’s oldest candidate to fight elections. -PTI
Several political stalwarts, senior leaders trailing in Punjab
Several political stalwarts and senior leaders, including Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, SAD patriarch Parkash Singh Badal, former chief minister Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu, were trailing in their respective assembly constituencies in Punjab, according to initial trends in the counting of votes.
Besides, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa, SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia and former union minister Vijay Sampla were also behind their nearest rivals.
The Aam Aadmi Party appears to be heading for a clean sweep, having taken a big lead in 88 of the 117 seats in Punjab.
BSP leading in Phagwara
Bahujan Samaj Party’s Jasvir Singh Garhi leading in Phagwara by 1,493 votes as of 11:10 am. INC’s Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal second in the race.
Sidhu second in Amritsar East
As per latest data, as of 11:10 am, Navjot Singh Sidhu is trailing AAP’s Jeevan Jyot Kaur by 1,505 votes.
He was behind SAD’s Bikram Singh Majithia in earlier trends.
“After Delhi, AAP is sweeping Punjab”
AAP leader and party's Punjab affairs in-charge Jarnail Singh said that after Delhi, his party is sweeping Punjab.
"The people of the State had faced a lot of problems during previous regimes and had pinned hopes on AAP," he said, adding that a new beginning for Punjab has started and state will become prosperous now.
Targeting the Congress and the BJP, he said, "These parties never talked of welfare of common people." -PTI
AAP’s Bhagwant Mann leading by 21906 votes
AAP’s CM candidate Bhagwant Mann is leading by 21,906 votes in Dhuri against Dalvir Singh Goldy of Congress.
Arvind Kejriwal will be BJP’s principal challenger, says Delhi MLA
Raghav Chadda, Delhi MLA (AAP), says, “We always knew AAP will win in Punjab by a huge majority, and Arvind Kejriwal’s Delhi model of governance will be implemented in the State.”
He says, “Throne of people who ruled Punjab for decades is shaking. In future, Arvind Kejriwal will be BJP’s principal challenger, AAP will be Congress’ replacement.” -ANI
Former Punjab CM Amrinder Singh trailing in Patiala
Capt Amarinder Singh and his newly-constituted party Punjab Lok Congress are trailing by 9,592 votes to AAP’s Ajit Pal Singh Kohli in Patiala Urban.
The scion of the erstwhile Patiala royal family has been a legislator from Patiala seat in 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017 as a Congress candidate.
Sidhu, Majithia trailing from Amritsar East seat
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu and SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia were trailing from Amritsar East seat, according to initial poll trends.
Aam Aadmi Party candidate Jeevanjyot Kaur was leading over her nearest rival Majithia by a margin of 590 votes.
Channi trailing from Chamkaur Sahib, Bhadaur seats
According to the trends by the ECI, Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi is trailing by 2339 votes in Chamkaur Sahib against Charanjit Singh (AAP), and by 3461 votes in Bahadur against Labh Singh Ugoke (AAP).
Among the seats from where AAP was leading included Lambi, Patiala Urban, Lehra, Anandpur Sahib, Batala, Attari, Bathinda Urban, Dasuya, Dera Bassi, Dharamkot, Dina Nagar, Dirba, Ferozepur Rural and Gill.
SAD chief Sukhbir Badal trailing in Jalalabad
Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal is trailing behind the AAP candidate in Punjab’s Jalalabad constituency on Thursday, according to initial poll trends.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Jagdeep Kamboj is leading by a margin of 827 votes in the constituency in Fazilka district. -PTI
Early trends show AAP in driver’s seat
Amid the high-stake multi-cornered electoral battle for the 117-member Punjab Legislative Assembly, the early trends of the result on Thursday showed that the State was heading for a clear mandate in favour of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).
In Punjab, 59 is the majority seat mark and any party or alliance requires these many seats to stake a claim to form the government.
AAP CM Candidate Bhagwant Mann leading in Dhuri
AAP CM Candidate Bhagwant Mann leading in Dhuri by 12443 votes. Dalvir Singh Goldy second in early leads.
Navjot Siddhu is third currently in Amritsar East
Jeevan Jyot Kaur (AAP) leading in Amritsar East, Bikram Singh Majithia is trailing (SAD). This is the same constituency where Navjot Singh Sidhu is contesting
Dr Amandeep Kaur Arora leading in Moga
Dr Amandeep Kaur Arora (AAP) leading at Moga, followed by Barjinder Singh Makhan Brar of SAD.
This is the constituency where Congress fielded Sonu Sood’s sister Malvika Sood.
Punjab CM Charanjit Singh Channi trailing by 1192 votes
According to the ECI, Mr. Channi is trailing by 1933 votes in his constituency Chamkaur Sahib, against Charanjit Singh (AAP).
Mr. Channi is trailing by 2195 votes in Bahadur against Labh Singh Ugoke (AAP).
ECI trends suggest AAP leading in Punjab
According to the early trends by the ECI, AAP is leading in 39 constituency in Punjab.
Amarinder Singh (Punjab Lok Congress Party) is trailing in Patiala, with Ajit Pal Singh Kohli (AAP) leading.
Early trends in Punjab
According to early trends by the ECI, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) is leading in five constituencies, SAD in two constituencies, BJP and BSP leading in one each.
Counting of votes in Punjab begins amid tight security arrangements
Counting of votes for 117 assembly seats in Punjab began on Thursday amid tight security arrangements.
As many as 7,500 personnel have been deputed for the counting process which began at 8 am at 66 locations across the State, officials said.
A three-tier security measure has been set up with the deployment of 45 companies of Central Armed Police Forces at the counting centres.
Officials said CRPC section 144 has been imposed in all the districts and gathering of people outside the counting centres has been prohibited. -PTI
Trust people’s judgment to deliver positive verdict in our favour: Amarinder
On the eve of the counting of votes, former Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh on Wednesday exuded confidence that the people of Punjab will deliver a positive verdict in favour of his party’s alliance with the BJP and SAD (Sanyukt).
Counting of votes for 117 assembly constituencies of Punjab will be held on Thursday. A total of 1,304 candidates, including 93 women and two transgenders, are in the fray. -PTI
Exit polls predict win for AAP in Punjab
Several exit polls forecast a clear majority for the the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab.
Most of them were also unanimous in predicting a big win for Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP in Punjab, with one exit poll on India Today projecting up to 76-90 seats in the 117-member assembly.
The ruling Congress was mostly predicted to be securing the second spot in Punjab.
Punjab recorded 65% voter turnout
The turnout in Punjab was down by around 12% in comparison to the 2017 elections, when 77.40% of voters exercised their franchise in the State. As the State witnessed a lower voter turnout, speculations were rife among political observers about “tactical understanding between traditional parties”.