The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which fought the Punjab Assembly polls for the first time, may have won 18 seats in Malwa region where it seemed going strong ahead of polls, a close look at the results reveals it did not gain the traction it had hoped for since even in constituencies where it finished second, it trailed the winner by a huge margin.
Of the 69 constituencies in Malwa, AAP came second in 21 constituencies. However, data shows it trailed the winner by a small margin only in four seats of Ludhiana (East), Bhucho Mandi, Moga and Dhuri. In all other seats where AAP came second, it lost by huge margins.
In as many as 30 seats in Malwa, AAP candidates finished a poor third. In Fazilka, the party came fourth, polling less votes than the Independent candidate. The seat was narrowly won by Davinder Singh Ghubaya of Congress who polled 39,276 votes, while BJP’s Surjit Jyani got 39,011 votes. AAP got only 16,404 votes while more than 20,000 votes went to the Independent candidate.
In constituencis like Faridkot, Bathinda urban, Sangrur, Patiala rural, Patiala urban, Rajpura, Nabha and Payal, AAP candidates finished second, but were way behind the winner, with victory margins varying from 10,000 to 20,000 votes.
AAP fared particularly poorly in Majha region where it was third in 23 of the total of 25 constituencies in the region. The two constituencies in which it came second are Amritsar (South) and Baba Bakala. In Amritsar (South), AAP candidate got 24,923 votes compared to the winning Congress candidate’s 47,581 votes. In Baba Bakala, AAP candidate got 39,378 votes as compared to 45,765 of Congress. In rest of the Assembly seats, AAP candidates were way behind the top two candidates.
The results were similar in Doaba region, which has 23 seats. AAP managed to come second in only in three even though it managed to win two seats of Bholath and Garhshanker. The three constituencies where the party managed to come somewhat close to the winning candidate were Nakodar, Sham Chaurasi and Banga. Even here, the gap was very wide in Nakodar where the Akali candidate was nearly 19,000 votes ahead while in Sham Chaurasi, the gap was around 4,000 votes between AAP and Congress. In Banga again, the AAP candidate managed to reduce the winning margin of the Akali candidate at around 2,000 votes.