The vote share of the Congress in the city witnessed a drastic reduction from 46.88 per cent during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections to 26.84 per cent. The share of the BJP, meanwhile, increased from 29.71 per cent to 42.20 per cent.
This is among the second lowest vote share of the Congress in its electoral history in the city with the lowest being in 1967 when the party got 23.04 per cent votes. As the results of the elections were declared on May 16, the BJP emerged victorious with its candidate Kirron Kher having received 1.91 lakh votes against four time MP Pawan Kumar Bansal who pulled 1.21 lakh votes.
In the past elections, the contest in Chandigarh has been between the Congress and the BJP with no third party managing to garner much votes. However, this time the AAP received 23.97 per cent vote share. The maximum any other party had received earlier at the third slot was when senior BJP leader Harmohan Dhawan contested from BSP ticket during the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. He had polled 17.88 per cent votes.
It was the BJP that led in all the 20 rounds of counting held on Friday, not giving any lead to the Congress. Interestingly, in as many as eight rounds of counting it was the AAP that was ahead of the Congress vying for the second slot. AAP candidate Gulkirat Kaur Panag finished a close third with a difference of only 13,041 votes from Bansal.
The Congress got the lead in only 56 of the 519 booths, while AAP led in 33. In all the remaining 430 booths it was the BJP that maintained a lead. During the 2009 Lok Sabha elections, the vote share of the Congress in colonies was 36.68 pe rcent. A close second was BSP at 33 per cent.
This time, AAP gave a tough competition to the Congress in the colonies and villages. The BSP was almost wiped out. Sample this – in Dadumajra from where it is Congress councillors who have been elected over the past few years, AAP gave the party a run for votes. Of the total 14 booths in Dadumajra village and colony, Congress and AAP were ahead in 5 each. In the remaining it was the BJP that was leading.
The AAP also led in some booths in Indira Colony, village Khuda Alisher, Ramdarbar, Sectors 52, 61, 50, 36, 54, 56, 34 and 20. In Sector 25 that essentially comprises colonies, in most of the booths it was AAP that was leading.
Meanwhile, the Congress was ahead in a few booths in Kajheri, Maloya, Palsora, Badheri, Mauli Jagran, rehabilitation colony in Dhanas, Ramdarbar as well as Sectors 38, 37, 38 (W), 45 and 48 where polling booth for village Faidan was present. In most of these booths there was a competition between Congress and AAP.
Congress spokesperson Pardeep Chhabra said, “There was a Modi wave. The results indicate that most sections of the society in Chandigarh were unhappy with the Congress. The colonies were a stronghold of the Congress. However, this time the BJP gained in every segment.”
He adds that there were several long pending issues that could not be resolved including problems of the industry, demands of residents of the Chandigarh Housing Board houses as well as that of the villages. Despite the work that the party had done, the unresolved issues caused much resentment, he added.
Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain said that the BJP was a gainer in all the areas whether urban, rural or colonies. “It was the sections who did not want to vote either for the Congress or BJP that voted for AAP. AAP’s Panag carried out her campaign very well and reached out to every corner of the city. This is the reason that they garnered much votes,” said Jain.