Punjab Assembly bypoll: Close contest expected between SAD, Congress in Shahkot
After a high-voltage election campaign for the Assembly bypoll necessitated by the demise of five-time MLA and Akali stalwart Ajit Singh Kohar, Shahkot will vote Monday to decide the fate of 12 candidates in the fray. The main contest, however, is seen to be between SAD candidate Naib Singh Kohar, the son of Ajit Singh Kohar, and Congress’s Hardev Singh Laddi Sherowalia. Counting of votes will take place on May 31.
While the Akali Dal is hoping to retain the seat banking on Ajit Singh Kohar’s legacy, the Congress too has gone all out to wrest it from the SAD.
The campaigning started with illegal sand mining as the main issue and concluded with river pollution as the dominant issue following spillage of molasses into Beas river.
The AAP is in the fray despite initial reluctance of its state leadership to enter the contest in the wake of its national convener Arvind Kejriwal’s apology to former SAD minister Bikram Majithia and the decision of AAP senior leader Amarjit Thind from Shahkot to join SAD. With Khaira and Mann opposed to entering the contest, it was AAP’s Punjab unit in-charge Manish Sisodia who announced Rattan Singh NRI as the party’s candidate.