With counting in the Punjab Assembly election underway on Thursday, 10 March, comedian, former cricketer, and Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu suffered a loss in his seat of Amritsar East, garnering only 32,807 votes.
Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) leader Bikram Singh Majithia, who is also contesting from this seat, took the third spot, with 25,112 votes, as per the EC website.
The two senior leaders were defeated AAP candidate Jeevan Jyot Kaur, who is a political novice. She received 39,520 votes.
Sidhu had won the last state election, held in 2017, from the Amritsar East seat. He had garnered 60,477 votes, nearly 43,000 more than his BJP contender at the time, Rakesh Kumar Honey.
Majithia, on the other hand, had won the 2017 state polls from the Majitha constituency. He had garnered 65,803 votes, significantly more than his Congress contender Sukhjinder Rai Singh (Lalli), who got 42,919.
Majitha is a predominantly rural seat in the northern part of Amritsar district and Majithia has won from here three times in a row.
In the two post-delimitation elections – 2012 and 2017 – the BJP contested four seats in Amritsar with the SAD contesting only Amritsar South. The Akali Dal, therefore, hasn’t been contesting in Amritsar East and is therefore weaker here, organisationally, compared to Amritsar South.
Amritsar is home to the Akal Takht and the Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Therefore, the five Assembly constituencies in the city hold great prestige value for the SAD.
By line: Divya Thearia