Sangrur Bypoll: AAP & Arvind Kejriwal’s Lok Sabha disconnect
By Manish Anand
New Delhi, June 26: Following the defeat in the Sangrur Parliamentary bypoll, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will have no representation in the Lok Sabha even while the party ruled in Delhi and Punjab, besides being the joint fourth largest party in the Rajya Sabha.
The AAP nominee from the Sangrur Lok Sabha bypoll Gurmail Singh lost by a narrow margin to the Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) (SAD-Amritsar) candidate Simranjit Singh Mann. The margin of the victory was merely 5,822 votes.
The SAD polled 38.1 per cent vote share against the AAP’s 34.79 per cent. The Congress came third with 11.21 per cent and the BJP polled a little over nine per cent in the byelection.
The Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann had vacated the seat, which necessitated the Lok Sabha bypoll.
The AAP loss in Punjab came close on the heels of the party sweeping the state Assembly elections.
However, the Mann government ever since has been making administrative blunders, including the withdrawal of the security covers for a number of a persons, including Sidhu Moose Wala, who was subsequently killed by gangsters.
In contrast, the AAP won the Rajinder Nagar Assembly bypoll in Delhi, making the party’s image of being unbeatable in the national capital stronger.
The AAP will be without an MP in the Lok Sabha at a time when the party is seeking to build cadre on the lines of the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh to pursue its national political ambitions.
However, the lack of representation in the Lok Sabha may deny the AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal the credibility as an alternative against the national leaders of the BJP and the Congress.
In Delhi, the AAP had struck a zero score chart in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. There was no luck for the party in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls also from Delhi.
This makes the AAP quite unique as a party whose voters believe that Kejriwal is quite good to administer Delhi but at the same time deny him even the consolation to send one MP in the lower House of the Parliament.
Delhi has seven Lok Sabha MPs. Punjab has 12 Lok Sabha seats. In both the states, accounting for 19 Lok Sabha seats, the AAP despite sweeping the Assembly elections will have to live with the agony of having zero representation in the lower House of Parliament.