Overwhelming Congress victory in Gurdaspur Lok Sabha elections comes as a big surprise for the people and political parties, but for the Congress this was a booster dose seeing its declining political fortunes. The wide sweep victory of Sunil Jakhar, elected consecutively thrice from Abohar Constituency, was Leader of Opposition in Punjab Vidhan Sabha from 2012-2017 and is no local except he was heading Pradesh Congress Committee. Jakhar defeating the nearest rival, BJP nominee Swaran Singh Salaria, a business man, with a margin of nearly two lakh votes could be the biggest margin for the constituency. The seat had fallen vacant after the death of BJP MP Vinod Khanna in April this year. The Congress won this seat after the 2009 Lok Sabha poll when Congress candidate Partap Singh Bajwa had won this seat by defeating BJP candidate Vinod Khanna. Khanna was four-time MP from Gurdaspur Lok Sabha seat till 2014.The results for BJP no doubt would be full of surprise especially when the campaigning saw party bigwigs touring the state and talking about result oriented governance. Well the outcome has reaffirmed that political parties cannot take voter for granted. Here the setback is for Shiromani Akali Dal and Bharatiya Janata Party combine led by Parkash Singh Badal who had patronised corruption and crime like drug smuggling as the second profession. Gurdaspur being on the border has some ideal points for smuggling drugs from Pakistan which it also shares borders with Jammu and Kashmir in Kathua District. Drug cartels operating in these border areas are patronised by the political big wigs and policemen and this nexus came to light during the terrorists attack on Pathankot Air Force Station. Such misgovernance and patronising crime have backfired for the SAD-BJP combine. Now, the Gurdaspur victory comes merely eight months after Jakhar lost the Assembly poll on home turf Abohar after a hat-trick even though Congress stormed back to power in the state with a thumping majority. This election is also victory of development agenda, the wavier of farmers loan and steps to revive economy of Punjab.
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