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Jalandhar West bypoll on July 10; a crucial test for Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann | Know the candidates

CM Mann even rented a house in Jalandhar to demonstrate his commitment to the region and hinted at making Bhagat a minister if elected

Reported by:  PTC News Desk  Edited by:  Jasleen Kaur -- July 09th 2024 07:22 PM
Jalandhar West bypoll on July 10; a crucial test for Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann | Know the candidates

Jalandhar West bypoll on July 10; a crucial test for Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann | Know the candidates

Jalandhar West Assembly bypoll: The Jalandhar West Assembly bypoll is being watched closely as a critical indicator of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann’s political strength and the overall standing of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab. The seat, earlier held by AAP, became vacant after the resignation of Sheetal Angural, sparking a high-stakes, multi-cornered electoral battle. This byelection, scheduled for July 10, will serve as a litmus test for Bhagwant Mann, who has invested significant effort into securing a victory after the party's poor performance in the recently concluded Lok Sabha Elections.

Candidates and Parties


The Jalandhar West Assembly seat is witnessing a competitive fight among AAP, Congress and BJP. A total of 15 candidates are contesting, with a voter base of 1.72 lakh eligible voters.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)

Candidate: Mohinder Bhagat, son of former minister and BJP MLA Bhagat Chunni Lal. Bhagat joined AAP after leaving BJP last year. Led by CM Bhagwant Mann, AAP's campaign emphasised the party’s governance achievements, such as free electricity and mohalla clinics. CM Mann even rented a house in Jalandhar to demonstrate his commitment to the region and hinted at making Bhagat a minister if elected. CM Mann’s wife, Gurpreet Kaur, and several AAP MLAs, ministers, and MPs actively campaigned for Bhagat.

Congress

Surinder Kaur, a prominent Dalit leader from the Ravidassia community, and former senior deputy mayor and five-time municipal councillor in Jalandhar is party candidate. Punjab Congress chief Amrinder Singh Raja Warring, Leader of the Opposition Partap Singh Bajwa and Jalandhar MP Charanjit Singh Channi spearheaded the campaign, focusing on the AAP government's alleged failures, including issues related to drug menace and law and order.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

Sheetal Angural, who switched from AAP to BJP in March is BJP's face. Sheetal Angural won this seat in the 2022 Punjab Assembly elections on an AAP ticket. BJP leaders, including Punjab party unit chief Sunil Jakhar and other prominent figures, campaigned for Sheetal Angural.

Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)- Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) 

Initially, the SAD fielded Surjit Kaur, but later withdrew support and endorsed BSP nominee Binder Kumar. Despite the official party stance, a faction within SAD continues to back Surjit Kaur.

Meanwhile, the bypoll is significant for several reasons. AAP’s poor performance in the recently held Lok Sabha elections, where it secured only three out of 13 seats, has placed enormous pressure on CM Mann to prove his party’s relevance and effectiveness in Punjab. A win in Jalandhar West would bolster Mann’s position and provide a morale boost to AAP.

The Congress, on the other hand,  aims to capitalise on AAP’s perceived governance failures and consolidate its position as the main opposition force in Punjab. 

For the BJP, winning the Jalandhar West seat is crucial to establishing a foothold in Punjab after failing to win any Lok Sabha seats. The SAD-BSP alliance’s internal conflict and decision to support BSP’s Binder Kumar over their initial candidate Surjit Kaur add another layer of complexity to the bypoll. 

- With inputs from agencies

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