Congress, India oldest political party who has been struggling for its revival since 2014 Lok Sabha elections on Sunday found much-needed boost by trouncing BJP in its stronghold Gurdaspur in Punjab by-election.
Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar defeated BJP's Swaran Salaria in Gurdaspur by poll, a seat that got vacant after the death of BJP leader and Bollywood actor Vinod Khanna.
Jakhar defeated BJP’s Swaran Salaria with a massive margin of 1,93,219 votes. He got 4,99,752 votes while Salaria polled 3,06,533.
Terming the victory as “a very good sign” emerging on the national scene, Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said, “things are now looking up for Congress.”
He said Congress’ victory in Gurdaspur by-election was a "strong message of resentment" sent by the people to BJP led Centre government.
Navjot Singh Sidhu, a former BJP leader who joined Congress during assembly elections in Punjab, said the Gurdaspur defeat was a “hard slap” to BJP and “a shot in the arm for Congress”.
While the victory is seen as a sign of improvement for Congress, it surely raises the concerns for BJP ahead of upcoming assembly elections in Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh.
The ruling party has been facing nationwide criticism for its handling of the economy and “poorly planned and implemented” major demonetisation and GST move.