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Victory for Congress in Punjab, 10/13 seats likely

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Chandigarh, May 21: Outcome of the Thursday result of the Lok Sabha elections 2019 is already decided for Punjab.

Congress is all set to register a landslide victory, with reports suggesting that the party is going to romp home victorious on ten of the thirteen seats in the state. Even in the worst case scenario, the party will win at least eight seats.

The ruling party has a decisive edge in eight seats, while in two seats it is in a close fight. The eight seats where it has a comfortable edge include Patiala, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Ludhiana, Anandpur Sahib, Fatehgarh Sahib, Faridkot and Khadoor Sahib. It is in close fight in Hoshiarpur and Bathinda parliamentary constituencies.

Patiala candidate Ms Preneet Kaur, former minister of state for external affairs and Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh’s wife, is comfortably placed in a three-cornered contest against Surjit Singh Rakhra of the Akali Dal and Dr Dharamvir Gandhi of the People’s Democratic Alliance.

In Amritsar, sitting Congress MP Gurjeet Singh Aujla has a significant edge over Bharatiya Janata Party’s Hardeep Puri.

Jalandhar has been one of the strongholds of the Congress. Although the sitting MP Chaudhary Santokh is faced with anti-incumbency, he is likely to sail through. Charanjit Singh Atwal is the candidate for Akali-BJP alliance and Balwinder Kumar of the PDA.

In Ludhiana, the sitting party MP Ravneet Singh Bittu has an edge over Maheshinder Singh Grewal of the Akali-BJP alliance and Simarjit Singh Bains of the PDA. Although it appears to be an evenly balanced triangular fight, Bittu is likely to make the final cut because of the respect his late grandfather Beant Singh commands here.

In Anandpur Sahib, Manish Tewari is placed in a better position against his Akali opponent and sitting MP Prem Singh Chandumajra. In a constituency that is considered to be religion centric, Tewari definitely has an edge. The presence of Akali Dal (Taksali) candidate, Bir Devinder Singh, who is likely to garner a significant number of votes will also help Tewari.

In Fatehgarh Sahib, Dr Amar Singh, an  ex-IAS officer is pitted against DS Guru also an ex-bureaucrat. Dr Singh has the advantage of having eight of the nine MLAs with him. Except for Sahnewal, which is represented by an Akali MLA, other eight MLAs are of the Congress.

In Khadoor Sahib, the Congress has double advantage. All the nine assembly segments falling within the constituency are represented by the Congress. Added to that is the division among the anti-Congress votes between Bibi Jagir Kaur of the Akali Dal and Paramjit Kaur Khalra, the joint candidate of the Akali Dal (Taksali) and the PDA. The Congress candidate Jasbir Singh Dimpa gets a decisive edge here with clear division among the anti-Congress panthic votes.

Faridkot parliamentary constituency is reeling under the strong anti-Akali resentment on the Bargari sacrilege issue, which is likely to provide an advantage to the Congress candidate Mohammad Sadiq.

The Congress is locked in a close fight in Bathinda, where the party candidate Raja Warring is giving the Badals tough time. Ms Harsimrat Kaur Badal, sitting MP and union minister is facing the toughest battle of her life as she seeks the reelection for the third time. There is no clear winner from here and it may swing either way.

In Hoshiarpur, the Congress candidate Dr Raj Kumar Chabbewal is faced with a tough challenge from SAD-BJP’s candidate Som Prakash. While Chabbewal started with an edge, but the rigorous campaigning by the BJP has made the fight too close.

In Ferozepur, the SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal appears to be a clear winner. The constituency has traditionally been an Akali stronghold. Also the Congress candidate Sher Singh Gubaya is an Akali rebel, who has not been accepted by the local Congress leaders and workers.

In Gurdaspur, the Punjab Congress president Sunil Jakhar is on a weak wicket against Sunny Deol of the BJP. Despite the fact that Jakhar outscores and outperforms over Deol in every way, the glamour factor gives the BJP an advantage here.

Sangrur has also turned out to be a weak constituency for the Congress, where the party candidate Kewal Singh Dhillon is pitted in a triangular fight against Bhagwant Mann, the sitting AAP MP and Parminder Singh Dhindsa of the Akali Dal. Sangrur has not been a Congress stronghold.

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