Congress candidate from Patiala, Preneet Kaur, who won these elections from there by more than 1.5 lakh votes, failed to make a dent in SAD’s bastion in Derabassi, where she trailed behind her SAD’s Surjeet Singh Rakhra by over 17,000 votes.
Kaur received 70,883 votes from Derabassi assembly segment, while Rakhra got 87,993 votes. The internal fighting in the Congress is stated to be the reason for a bad show in Derabassi. Preneet Kaur led in all other eight assembly segments, all falling in Patiala parliament constituency.
“She was leading in all other segments. But see the results in Derabassi. She was behind by over 17,000 votes. This means that our leaders in Derabassi need to work hard,” said a senior leader of district committee of Congress.
SAD has won Derabassi assembly segment in last two assembly elections- 2012 and 2017- by N K Sharma. Congress’s district president Deepinder Singh Dhillon contested assembly elections on Congress ticket in 2017 and lost by a narrow margin of nearly 2,000 votes to SAD’s N K Sharma.
“In 2017, Deepinder Dhillon put up a tough fight but over last two years, SAD managed to make inroads. 17,000 votes is a big margin,” a Congress leader told Chandigarh Newsline.
He added that Preneet Kaur managed to win the seat after Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh took command of the campaign and held as many as six public rallies in favour of his wife, Preneet Kaur.
“CM’s campaign had a big impact on the win. He met party workers and appealed to the people to vote for her,” he added. Dr Dharam Vira Gandhi, who defeated Kaur in 2014, failed to make a mark this time. As far as Derabassi constituency is concerned, Dr Dharam Vira managed to get only 6,458 votes from here.
Dr Gandhi was considered a strong candidate but he could not repeat his previous performance. He got a total of 1,53,891votes, as compared to over 3 lakh votes received in 2014, while contesting as an Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate.