Badals win Bathinda, Congress gains in Punjab (Second Lead)

May 17th, 2009 - 1:11 am ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Chandigarh, May 16 (IANS) The prestige fight between Punjab’s leading political families of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and his predecessor Amarinder Singh of the Congress in the Bathinda Lok Sabha constituency was Saturday won by the Badals even though the Congress won eight out of the state’s 13 seats.
Harsimrat Kaur, the daughter-in-law of Chief Minister Badal and wife of Akali Dal president and Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Badal, won from Bathinda by a margin of 120,948 votes over her Congress rival and Amarinder Singh’s son, Raninder Singh.

But Amarinder Singh could draw solace as his wife Preneet Kaur won the Patiala seat for the third time. She defeated her Akali Dal rival Prem Singh Chandumajra by 97,389 votes.

The Congress, which had won two seats in the 2004 general elections, did much better by winning eight seats.

The state’s ruling Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) combine won five seats.

Cricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu of the BJP retained his Amritsar seat even as party colleague and actor Vinod Khanna lost from the adjoining Gurdaspur.

The chirpy Sidhu, who has been judging TV ‘laughter challenge’ shows in recent years, was not exactly laughing his way to victory as he managed to win with a margin of just 7,332 votes over his Congress rival Om Prakash Soni.

Sidhu had won the seat in the 2004 general elections by a margin of nearly 110,000 votes.

Congress supporters protested against the authorities in Amritsar, alleging that the result was fudged to favour Sidhu. The BJP leader had trailed Soni for the most part of the day.

Vinod Khanna could not retain the Gurdaspur seat after three terms as he was defeated by former Punjab minister Pratap Singh Bajwa of the Congress by 8,359 votes.

The Election Commission finally declared Santosh Chaudhary of the Congress as the winner on the Hoshiarpur (reserved) seat by a slender margin of 291 votes after a snag in an electronic voting machine (EVM) delayed the declaration of the result of this seat for several hours.

For the Anandpur Sahib seat, Punjab Youth Congress president Ravneet Sigh Bittu defeated Daljeet Singh Cheema of the Akali Dal by over 66,000 votes.

The Akali Dal-BJP combine had won 11 seats in the 2004 general elections while the Congress had only two seats.

In the newly created seat of Fatehgarh Sahib (reserved), former Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Libra of the Congress defeated outgoing Lok Sabha Deputy Speaker Charanjit Singh Atwal by over 34,000 votes.

Youth leader Vijay Inder Singla of the Congress trounced senior Akali leader and former union minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa in the Sangrur constituency by over 40,000 votes.

Congress spokesman Manish Tewari won the Ludhiana seat by over 113,000 votes over his Akali Dal rival.

In the Jalandhar (reserved) seat, singer Hans Raj Hans of the Akali Dal lost to Mohinder Singh Kaypee of the Congress by nearly 36,500 votes.

In the new Khadoor Sahib seat, millionaire industrialist Rana Gurjit Singh was defeated by his Akali Dal rival Rattan Singh Ajnala by over 32,000 votes.

In Faridkot (reserved) constituency, Paramjit Kaur Gulshan of Akali Dal defeated young Congress leader Sukhwinder Singh Danny by over 62,000 votes.

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