Gurdaspur bypoll: BJP-SAD, AAP allege Congress won election by misusing govt machinery

Chandigarh:The BJP-SAD alliance in Punjab on Sunday alleged that the ruling Congress party won the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha by-election by misusing the government machinery.

Representational image. PTI.

Representational image. PTI.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which finished a distant third, too, made similar allegations against the Congress party. AAP nominee Major General (retd) Suresh Khajuria accused the Congress party of using "undemocratic means" to win the by-election.

None of the parties offered any evidence to support their allegations.

Congress party's Sunil Jakhar won the by-poll necessitated following the death of BJP MP from the seat, Vinod Khanna, in April. Jakhar defeated BJP's Swaran Salaria by over 1,90,000 votes.

Punjab BJP secretary Vineet Joshi and Salaria alleged the Congress misused the official machinery to win the by-poll.

"They won by misusing the machinery. Everyone knows that even the sarpanches owing allegiance to the BJP and the SAD were warned that they will be dealt with strictly if the two allies got a lead in their respective areas in the by-poll.

Civic body officials, too, were warned," Joshi alleged.

Joshi and Salaria, however, said they will now request Jakhar to ensure the development of Gurdaspur constituency.

Senior Shiromani Akali Dal leader Prem Singh Chandumajra said: "It is not a victory of democracy, but it is victory of government machinery being misused."

Chandumajra said, "the fact that the poll percentage in a Lok Sabha by-poll was as low as 56 percent raises eyebrows. In a general election, this percentage remains over 75 percent.

The poll percentage for by-poll should have been over 80 percent, but it was just 56 percent. This means a lot of people were under some kind of threat that they chose to stay away".

AAP's state unit president Bhagwant Mann said his party accepts the mandate and will introspect the reasons for the defeat.

Contrary to Congress party's claims, Mann said the by-poll outcome would not set the tone for 2019 General Election.

Updated Date: Oct 15, 2017 18:01 PM

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