Election results: SAD-BJP set to create history in Punjab with repeat win
CHANDIGARH: Shiromani Akali Dal is all set to create history in Punjab. The party, along with its ally BJP, is cruising to victory, bucking anti-incumbency for the first time in the state's electoral history.
The winning streak began early on Tuesday, and by 2 pm, SAD (32) and BJP (11) had together bagged 43 seats to Congress' 33. SAD was leading in 21 seats and Congress in 16.
Around 2 pm, CM Parkash Singh Badal's media adviser Harcharan Bains addressed the media at Badal's home in Lambi, saying: "In the next few hours, SAD is going to emerge as the single largest party. We are on the verge of breaking 45-year-old record." The members of the Badal family, however, still chose to remain confined in the house and not make a public apperanace.
Rebel Manpreet Badal Punjab has been rejected by the electorate of the state losing both his seats, including Gidderbaha, a seat he has been winning for four terms.
The Congress' biggest blow came from what is considered its forte, the Doaba region of Punjab, which has a huge Dalit base. Mayawati may not have retained her magic in Uttar Pradesh but Punjab's Dalit belt has rejected the Congress that has lost in a number of seats and trailing in many in Jalandhar, in the heart of Doaba.
Punjab's malwa region, which sends the largest number of MLAs to the Assmebly has given a fractured mandate. This raises doubts over the hold of the Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda whose influence is said to be widespread in this region. The Dera has always played a big role in Punjab politics, especially in the way Malwa votes.