Updated June 4th, 2024 at 18:18 IST

With Lead in Only 1 Seat, SAD Fails to Improve in Lok Sabha Elections in Punjab

The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) is leading in only one out of the 13 Lok Sabha constituencies in Punjab.

Reported by: Digital Desk
Harsimrat Kaur Badal | Image:ANI
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Chandigarh: The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which went solo in the Lok Sabha elections for the first time since 1996, is leading in only one out of the 13 parliamentary constituencies in Punjab.

Harsimrat Kaur Badal, the wife of SDA chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, is set to retain the Bathinda parliamentary constituency, where she is leading by a margin of 50,000 votes over her nearest rival and AAP candidate Gurmeet Singh Khuddian, according to the Election Commission trends.

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The Bathinda parliamentary constituency is considered as a stronghold of the SDA with Harsimrat winning this seat since 2009.

Seen as a litmus test of the SAD, the party did not perform up to mark as its candidates were placed at third or fourth position in the majority of the constituencies.

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Before parting ways with the BJP in 2020 over the now-repealed farm laws, the SAD and the BJP used to contest elections in alliance.

The 2024 elections came as one of the toughest challenges for Badal as his 103-year-old outfit was seeking to gain its lost political ground in the state.

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Badal was also steering the party without his father, Akali stalwart and five-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal who died last year.

During poll campaigning, Sukhbir called the SAD as the only regional outfit fighting to safeguard the interests of Punjab and also the voice of "qaum" (community).

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The former deputy chief minister relied on development works carried out during the erstwhile Akali regime, such as building of road network, setting up of thermal plants, etc.

Before the Lok Sabha polls, Sukhbir managed to convince veteran Akali leader Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, his son Parminder Singh Dhindsa and former Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee chief Bibi Jagir Kaur to return to the party fold.

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Good performance in the elections for the SAD was important as the Badal-led outfit's performance in the last parliamentary elections was also disappointing.

The SAD had won eight seats in 2004 and then four seats each in 2009 and 2014 elections. However, its performance further dipped in 2019 when it could secure just two seats.

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Its vote share dropped from 34.3 per cent in 2004 to 27.45 per cent in 2019. 
 

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Published June 4th, 2024 at 18:18 IST