Polling for the parliamentary reserved constituency of Punjab’s Jalandhar, witnessing a four-cornered fierce contest within the Dalit-dominated Doaba area, historically a Congress bastion, started on Wednesday amid tight safety, election officers mentioned right here.

Electors might be seen reaching polling stations even earlier than voting began at 8 a.m.

A complete of 16.21 lakh voters will solid their ballots until 6 p.m. to resolve the destiny of 19 candidates, together with 4 girls.

Around 8, 000 safety personnel have been deployed. The counting will happen on Saturday.

The bypoll was necessitated with the dying of Congress MP Santokh Chaudhary attributable to a coronary heart assault whereas participating within the Punjab leg of the Bharat Jodo Yatra in January.

The Congress, which has remained undefeated on this seat since 1999, has fielded Chaudhary’s widow Karamjit Kaur as its candidate, whereas the AAP has given the ticket to Congress turncoat and former legislator Sushil Rinku.

While the Shiromani Akali Dal-Bahujan Samaj Party (SAD-BSP) mix has fielded Sukhwinder Kumar Sukhi, a sitting legislator, the BJP has given the ticket to Akali turncoat and former legislator Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal.

The Jalandhar bypoll is being dubbed to be a vital electoral battle for all political events forward of the 2024 normal elections.

After chastening a humiliating loss lower than a yr in the past, the 13-month AAP authorities is ready for a litmus take a look at, the place a victory or defeat will stamp its administrative and management acumen.

In June 2022, the AAP had witnessed a significant setback when SAD (Amritsar)’s Simranjit Singh Mann received the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat after defeating his nearest rival, the social gathering’s Gurmail Singh, by a slender margin.

The Sangrur constituency was as soon as a stronghold of AAP. Bhagwant Mann had represented this seat twice — 2014 and 2019. He had vacated the seat after profitable the Assembly elections in February 2022 from Dhuri and have become the Chief Minister.

For the Jalandhar bypoll, the Chaudhary household is banking on votes of Dalits owing to their proximity with Dera Sachkhand Ballan, a outstanding Ravidassia neighborhood that has a lot affect within the Doaba area comprising Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Nawanshahr and Kapurthala districts.

Likewise, AAP’s candidate Rinku belongs to the Ravidassia sect. The Jalandhar seat has 38 per cent Dalit inhabitants, comprising 21 per cent Ravidasias and the remaining Valmiki or Mazhbi Sikhs.

Playing an emotional card, SAD President Sukhbir Badal mentioned strengthening the SAD-BSP alliance by electing its joint candidate Sukhi within the bypoll can be probably the most applicable homage to late five-time Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Saying that this ballot will set the tone for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, Congress insurgent and BJP chief Capt Amarinder Singh mentioned the vote for the social gathering candidate would strengthen the arms of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

He lashed out on the AAP authorities, saying it has utterly failed the individuals’s expectations regardless of getting a landslide victory.

In enchantment to the voters to offer yet one more yr in order that they might belief AAP in 2024, Chief Minister Mann tried to woo votes by saying: “You (people) kept on giving chances to the Akali Dal and the Congress for 70 years, but they did nothing for you. Just give us one more year to work. If you don’t like our work, don’t vote for us in 2024.”

AAP nationwide convener Arvind Kejriwal and Mann on Sunday collectively campaigned by holding 4 roadshows in numerous constituencies in a single day.

There are 16, 21, 759 electorates, together with 8, 44, 904 males, 7, 76, 855 girls, 10, 286 individuals with incapacity, 1, 850 service electors, 73 abroad electors and 41 transgenders within the constituency.

Chief Electoral Officer Sibin C. mentioned 1, 972 polling cubicles have been arrange.

A complete of 542 susceptible polling stations have been recognized, 16 have been marked as crucial and 30 expenditure delicate pockets.


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