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As pro-Khalistan ideologue wins Sangrur bypoll in Punjab, AAP left with zero MPs in Lok Sabha

While AAP has no MPs in Rajya Sabha now, the party has 10 MPs in Rajya Sabha. Out of them, three are from Delhi and the rest 7 are from Punjab.

Aam Aadmi Party has lost the by-election held for the Sangrur Lok Sabha constituency. AAP candidate Gurmail Singh was defeated by Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) president pro-Khalistani ideologue Simranjit Singh Mann by 5822 votes. With this result, AAP will now have no MP in Lok Sabha.

AAP secured a clear majority in the Punjab assembly elections held in February 2022. After swearing in as the chief minister, Bhagwant Mann had to leave the Lok Sabha seat of Sangrur from where he was elected in the general elections of 2019. In the by-election, AAP gave the ticket to Gurmail Singh while Shiromani Akali Dal-Bahujan Samaj Party (SAD-BSP) alliance fielded Balwant Rajoana’s sister Kamaldeep Kaur as the candidate. It is notable that Balwant Rajoana has been awarded the death penalty for his role in the assassination of Punjab’s former chief minister Beant Singh. As pro-Khalistani leader Simranjit Singh Mann, who is the president of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), won the by-election, there will now be no AAP MP in the Lok Sabha.

It is notable that Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) is not related to the larger party Shiromani Akali Dal. Simranjit Singh Mann got 253154, while Gurmail Singh got 247332 votes in the bypoll. The election had saw low turnaround of 45.30%, against 72.5% turnout seen in the general elections in 2019. 16 candidates had contested the polls, and Congress candidate Dalvir Singh Goldy was in third place. NOTA was in 8th position, which means as many as 9 candidates got less votes than NOTA votes.

In the 2019 general elections, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) won just one of the over 40 seats it fought across nine states and Union territories, although it received its largest vote percentage (18.10%) in the national capital. Delhi, Chandigarh, Bihar, Goa, Punjab, Andaman and Nicobar, Haryana, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh were the states in which the AAP fielded candidates. However, only Bhagwant Mann, the party’s candidate from Sangrur in Punjab, could win. Mann had defeated Congress contender Kewal Singh Dhillon by a margin of almost one lakh votes. AAP had won four Lok Sabha seats in Punjab in 2014, and while it lost all seven constituencies in Delhi, it finished second.

After claiming the win, Simranjit Singh Mann said, “My priority will be to raise the issue of the poor economic condition of Sangrur, including the condition of farmers under debt. We will work with the Punjab Government.”

Born on May 20, 1945, in Shimla, Simranjit Singh Mann is president of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar), which is the Pro-Khalistan political party. Before winning Lok Sabha elections from Sangrur, he had become MP twice, once from Taran Tarn in 1989 and once from Sangrur in 1999.

While AAP has no MPs in Rajya Sabha now, the party has 10 MPs in Rajya Sabha. Out of them, three are from Delhi and the rest 7 are from Punjab.

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