Jalandhar bypoll: AAP's Sushil Kumar Rinku registers thumping win over Congress's Karamjit Kaur
Aam Aadmi Party’s Sushil Kumar Rinku today registered a thumping victory, by over 58,000 votes, over Karamjit Kaur Chaudhary—the candidate from Rinku’s former party, Congress—in the Jalandhar bypoll thus breaking the grand old party’s 24-year-old grip on the Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat.
The Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat has been vacant since the demise of Congress MP Santokh Chaudhary who passed away due to a heart attack on January 14 while participating in the Bharat Jodo Yatra alongside Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
Chaudhary’s demise necessitated a by-poll for the vacant constituency seat with the Congress fielding the deceased leader’s wife Karamjit Kaur in what was essentially a four-pronged battle between the grand old party, the AAP, the Akali-BSP combine and the BJP.
The ruling AAP dispensation had fielded Sushil Kumar Rinku, a former Congress leader, who was dismissed from the Congress for “anti-party activities”, and later, on April 5, joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the presence of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann.
Rinku was previously the Congress MLA from the Jalandhar West constituency in the previous assembly.
In a tweet, Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring said the party humbly accepts the people’s mandate and congratulated the AAP and its winning candidate Sushil Rinku.
The official count stands with the AAP securing 3,02,097 votes, beating the closest rival, Congress that secured 2,43,450 votes, while the Akali-BSP combine came in at third with 1,58,354 and the BJP ending up at the tail end with 1,34,706 votes.
Senior AAP leader Raghav Chadha who is currently in Delhi where he is reportedly getting engaged to actor Parineeti Chopra said the people of Jalandhar, the home of his maternal grandparents, have made the day even more special and memorable for him.
The BJP had fielded Sardar Indar Iqbal Singh Atwal in hopes of gaining some ground for the saffron party in Punjab ahead of next year’s Lok Sabha elections.