Akali Dal-BJP set to create history in Punjab (Fifth Lead)

March 6th, 2012 - 3:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata Party Chandigarh, March 6 (IANS) Punjab’s ruling Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) alliance was set to create history Tuesday as it inched towards power, stunning the Congress.

By Tuesday afternoon, the Akali Dal-BJP combine had won 19 seats to the 12 of Congress. The ruling coalition’s candidates also led in 46 seats in contrast to the 37 leads of the Congress.

Three of the total 117 seats appeared to be going to smaller groups and independents.

In over four decades, no party has got a second consecutive term in Punjab.

But the trends so far indicate that the Akali Dal and BJP are close to reversing that trend and forming a government again.

Congress leaders expressed disappointment over the results, more so since they had thought that the decision by former finance minister Manpreet Singh Badal to desert the Akali Dal would divide the Akali votes.

That did not happen. Manpreet Badal, who had formed the Punjab People’s Party (PPP), himself lost from Maur and was trailing in Gidderbaha. He had contested from two constituencies.

Manpreet Badal is the estranged nephew of Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal.

The chief minister was leading in Lambi against his younger brother Gurdas Badal of PPP and cousin Maheshinder Singh Badal.

His son and Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal (Jalalabad) was on the victory lap.

Punjab Congress president and former chief minister Amarinder Singh won by over 42,000 votes from Patiala-Uurban constituency.

When the vote count began, the Congress appeared to be badly lagging behind. It recovered partially later but party leaders admitted it would not secure power in Punjab.

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