Chandigarh: The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won the Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat of Punjab, which was a stronghold of the Congress. AAP’s Sushil Rinku defeated Congress candidate Karamjit Kaur Chaudhary by a margin of 58,691 votes.

The by-election was crucial for the AAP after losing the Sangrur bypoll three months after forming the Punjab government.

The biggest role in AAP’s victory in Jalandhar on Doaba’s Dalit belt was the free electricity provided every month to people. Unlike, the Sangrur by-election, the murder factor of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala was ineffective.

Meanwhile, this victory of AAP will pose a big challenge to the opponents during the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections to be held in 2024.

Some factors how AAP won the Jalandhar lok Sabha seat:

1. Free electricity to people every month

In Punjab, the AAP has been providing 300 units of free electricity per month to every household after forming the government with a record-breaking victory in last year’s assembly elections. Jalandhar is a Dalit-dominated area. The biggest beneficiary of this decision of the government was this class. The government itself had claimed that the electricity bills of 61 lakh out of 75 lakh households in Punjab became zero.

2. AAP in power in Punjab

There is an AAP government in the state. The people of Jalandhar knew that they had to elect an MP for just 11 months. After that there will be elections again. They may not benefit from winning any other party, so this factor also worked in the favour of the ruling party. Arvind Kejriwal had even said during the campaign that if any other party wins, it will be involved in a tussle with the Punjab government.

Pertinently, Sushil Rinku joined AAP after leaving Congress ahead of poll. This was his first Lok Sabha election, so the victory will be considered as a stamp on the government’s work.

3. A united front by AAP leadership

In Jalandhar, all AAP leaders campaigned unitedly. Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal and CM Bhagwant Mann led campaigns from the front. The entire cabinet remained engaged in campaigning and the party manged to give a decisive message to the booth level worker. Everyone campaigned together, which was rewarded as a victory.

4. The Moosewala factor could not work

The reason for AAP’s defeat in the by-election in Sangrur seat was credited to gruesome murder of Punjabi singer Sidhu Moosewala. Moosewala’s father Balkaur Singh had also taken out an Insaaf Yatra in Jalandhar and appealed not to vote for the AAP.

Sangrur is a Jatt-dominated area while Jalandhar has 48% urban area and dominated by Dalit stronghold. Moreover, over 30 people have already been arrested in this case. Therefore, the Mosewala factor remained ineffective in Jalandhar by-election.

5. Infighting within Punjab Congress

AAP’s biggest concern in Jalandhar was that this constituency was a Congress stronghold. After 1999, in the 5 Lok Sabha elections held between 2019, Congress won consecutively from here. This time too, everyone’s assessment was the same, but the Congress could not unite to save the stronghold.

Navjot Sidhu, Punjab Congress chief Amarinder Singh Raja Warring, former CM Charanjit Channi continued to campaign separately. No big Congress leader from Delhi came to campaign the candidate Karamjit Kaur Chaudhary. Arvind Kejriwal also made an issue out of it and attacked Congress high command during a poll rally.

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