Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wafer-thin margins, a few candidates reminisce on what so nearly wasn’t

A day after the poll results, a number of candidates, who have won by wafer-thin margins, are ruminating over what so nearly wasn't. The BJP candidate from Fazilka, Surjit Kumar Jayani expressed surprise that he won by only 1,600 votes. Jayani is the sitting MLA and also the state's transport minister. Jayani also reportedly did not celebrate his victory as his winning margin had reduced considerably. In the 2007 polls, he had won by 16,000 votes. The BJP minister, sources say, is miffed that the candidate who finished behind him is an Independent Jaswinder Singh Rocky, who has many criminal cases pending against him. Jayani has even announced that he will not celebrate his victory.

While Jayani may be upset, the SAD's Mansa candidate Prem Mittal isn't complaining despite winning by only 1,305 votes from the Congress' Gupreet Kaur Gaggowal. "This seat has been won by Congress for the past 20 years and now it has come to the SAD. For the first time, the SAD gave the ticket to a candidate from the Aggarwal community and it worked", Mittal says. The SAD candidate, who hails from Budhlada in Mansa, has been living in Ludhiana for more than 20 years and has even served as a councillor of the Ludhiana MC. Mittal entered Mansa on January 10 and in a span of 20 days, emerged as the winner.

Former Deputy Speaker Charanjit Atwal won by only 630 votes from the Congress rookie Lakhvir Lakha at Payal constituency in Ludhiana. "I must have committed some mistakes to win by such a less margin. I will work on them," Atwal said. He, however, said: "Payal has come to the SAD after more than 20 years. It was the home constituency of a former Congress CM Beant Singh. So in other words, it was a tough fight in Congress-dominated area".

The SAD candidate from Jagraon, S R Kler, isn't worried about his victory margin. Kler defeated the Congress' Ishar Singh Meharbaan by a mere 206 votes. A former ADC Ludhiana, he says: "Victory is a victory whether by a single vote. I will now workand people will definitely increase the winning margin".

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