SAD’s Sukhbir Singh Badal wins by a margin of 1,98,136 votes, community factor did not work for Congress’s Ghubaya
Ferozepur, May 23, 2019: Sukhbir Singh Badal – SAD-BJP candidate - has won the Ferozepur Lok Sabha Constituency seat by with grand margin of 1,98,136 votes. Sukhbir was polled 6,33,427 votes defeating his nearest rival Congress candidate Sher Singh Ghubaya, who got 4,34,577 votes.
Against the total registered voters 16,18,419, the numbers of votes polled were 11,72,033 on May 19.
Congress failed to retain the Ferozepur seat since 1985, when it was won by Gurdial Singh Dhillon by 43,356 votes when he was polled 2,09,835 votes defeating the SAD candidate Inderjit Singh who got 1,66,479 votes.
In all 11,72,033 votes were polled in all the nine Assembly segments of Ferozepur including 5316 Postal Ballots.
NOTA – None of the Above, button provision in the EVMs – Electronic Voting Machines was used by 14891 voters in all the 9 segments against 7685 polled during the last Parliament elections in 2014.
Right from the first round of declaring the votes polled, Sukhbir Badal had been leading throughout the counting of the last 18th round. Except in Guruharsahai and Muktsar where the margin has been very low – Guruharshai 7630 and Muktsar 8277 votes, at all other Assembly segments, the winning margin was on the higher side – Abohar 26,429, Balluana 42,020, Fazilka 30,011, Malout 16,668, Ferozepur city 22,046, Jalalabad 30,913, Ferozepur Rural 16542 votes.
Sitting MP Sher Singh Ghybaya has represented the constituency since 2009 as SAD candidate and shifted to the Congress in March 2019 only.
Ferozepur has a distinct combination of castes and communities with the Rai Sikhs having a sizeable number of votes. The community remains an important factor in any elections. He, however, staked claim to win the seat when Congress High Command picked him to field from Ferozepur despite opposition from other senior party leaders, who were also aspirant to contest, perhaps of having Rai Sikh community vote bank of 3 lac. Besides the lack of full support from veteran political leaders in the area, Ghubaya was also battling anti-incumbency and it became difficult for the Congress leaders to motivate their supporters to vote and work for him.
In the 2009 elections, Sher Singh Ghubaya won as SAD candidate in a tough competition, by getting 4,50900 votes defeating Congress candidate Jagmeet Singh Brar who got 4,29,829 votes. In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, Sher Singh Ghubaya of the SAD defeated Sunil Jahar of the Congress by a marging of 31,420 (2.8 per cent) votes when the Constituencywitnessed a voter turnout of 72.6 per cent.
Congress has played the Rai Sikh card by inducting Sher Singh Ghubaya as in Ferozepur, in the past it has been seen that community – especially the Rai Sikh and Kamboj play a vital role for the victory or defeat of the candidates. Both these communities cast their votes in majority in favour of one candidate but from it could be seen that this factor has failed to show the magic numbers this time. Ghubaya had been focusing on his community to garner votes but no magic worked for him this time.
Another factor which has gone in favour of Sukhbir Badal is, the residents of Ferozepur feel neglected from development of this border town and they had high hopes to add the development tag with Ferozepur there if he comes to power like Bahtinda from where his wife Harsimrat Badal has represented in the Parliament and repeated this time also.