AAP sweeps Punjab, BJP retains power in UP, Uttarakhand, Manipur and Goa
New Delhi, March 10, 2022
The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won a stunning and historic victory in Punjab while the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retained power in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Goa and Manipur as votes were counted in the crucial assembly elections in the five states today.
AAP, headed by Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, won an overwhelming majority with 92 of the 117 seats in the Punjab Assembly. This is the first time that the party has been voted to power in a state other than the National Capital Territory of Delhi.
In the process, the ruling Congress and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which have dominated politics in the state for seven decades, were virtually decimated.
Bhagwant Mann, AAP's pick for the top post, is all set to become the next Chief Minister of the border state.
The ruling Congress, which won 77 seats in 2017, managed to win only 18 seats this time with most of its stalwarts like Chief Minister Charanjit Channi and state party chief Navjot Singh Sidhu suffering humiliating defeats in their respective strongholds.
The SAD got three, the BJP two and the Bahujan Samaj Party one. One independent candidate also won a seat.
Congress rebel and two-time chief minister Amarinder Singh, whose newly floated Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) fought the elections in alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), lost his Patiala Urban stronghold to AAP's Ajit Pal Singh Kohli.
All the Badals, led by five-time Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, the eldest candidate at 94 in the fray, as well as their kin lost to AAP's greenhorns.
The eldest Badal, who won the seat five times in a row since 1997, lost to Gurmeet Khuddian from Lambi by 11,357 votes, while his son and SAD chief and Member of Parliament Sukhbir Badal faced humiliating defeat from Jalalabad, and his son-in-law Adesh Partap Singh Kairon faced defeat from Patti in Tarn Taran district from AAP's Laljit Singh Bhullar.
Sukhbir Badal's brother-in-law Bikram Majithia and his estranged cousin Manpreet Badal, who was in the fray on a Congress ticket, also lost the poll from their respective seats.
AAP's Khuddian, a Congress rebel, polled 65,717 votes and the senior Badal got 54,360. The junior Badal has lost the elections by a margin of 23,310 votes from Jalalabad to AAP's Jagdeep Kamboj.
Majithia, who was in the fray from Amritsar (East) seat, took the third spot, with 25,112 votes. His arch-rival and state Congress President Sidhu got only 32,807 votes.
Both senior leaders were defeated by AAP's novice Jeevan Jyot Kaur, who received 39,520 votes.
A five-time MLA and two-time Finance Minister, Manpreet Badal, who is the son of Gurdas Badal, the younger brother of Parkash Singh Badal, lost the elections from Bathinda Urban.
In Uttar Pradesh, the country's most populous state, the BJP won or was leading in 255 of the 403 constituencies, which means that Yogi Adityanath will return as Chief Minister for a second consecutive term.
This is the first time that a Chief Minister has returned to power in Uttar Pradesh after completing a full five-year term.
The Samajwadi Party, led by former Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, which had staged a spirited campaign to try and wrest power back, had to rest content with wins or leads in a total of 111 seats.
Among the others, the Apna Dal (Soneylal), an ally of the BJP, was ahead in 12, the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), which fought the elections in alliance with the Samajwadi Party, in eight, the Nirbal Indian Shoshit Hamara Aam Dal and the Suheldev Bharatiya Samaj Party in six each, the Congress and the Jansatta Dal Loktantrik in two each and the Bahujan Samaj Party in one.
In Uttarakhand, the ruling BJP won 46 of the 70 seats in the assembly and was leading in one more. The Congress, which was hoping to stage a comeback, won 17 seats and was ahead in two more. The BSP got one seat and was leading in another, while independent candidates picked up two seats.
However, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami lost the elections from Khatima and the BJP leadership has started looking for a replacement in the hill state.
In Manipur, the BJP won 32 of the 60 seats in the assembly to get a second consecutive term in office, while the Janata Dal (U) and bagged six seats and the Congress five.
The National People's Party, an estranged ally of the BJP, won six seats and was ahead in one more. The Naga People's Front, also estranged from the BJP, secured five seats and the Kuki People's Alliance got two. Independents won three seats.
In Goa, the BJP won 20 of the 40 seats in the assembly, while the Congress bagged 11. The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and AAP secured two seats each, the Revolutionary Goans Party got one, and independents won three seats. The BJP is hoping to form the government with the support of the MGP and a couple of independent MLAs.
The five states had voted between February 10 and March 7 to choose new legislative assemblies in what are seen to be crucial polls ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections.
The counting of ballots began amidst tight security at 8 am and most of the results were in by this evening.
Of the five states, Uttar Pradesh saw polling in seven phases on February 10, February 14, February 20, February 23, February 27, March 3 and March 7.
Goa and Uttarakhand had single-phase polling on February 14, while Punjab had single-phase polling on February 20.
Manipur voted in two phases on February 28 and March 5.
Along with the assembly elections, votes were also counted today in the bye-election to the Majuli assembly constituency in Assam, which the BJP retained. Its candidate Bhuban Gam won the seat defeating his nearest rival, Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) nominee Chittaranjan Basumatary, by a record margin of 42,141 votes.