The Congress was on Saturday won a two-third majority in the 117-seat Punjab assembly, with veteran Amarinder Singh set to return as Chief Minister of the border state.
The Congress, which had been out of power in Punjab for a decade, won 77 seats, paving the way for the next Congress government in Punjab.
Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi thanked the poeple of Punjab for their support.
I thank everyone in Punjab for their immense faith and support. This is a mandate for a brighter future for Punjab and it's youth— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) March 11, 2017
My heartiest congratulations to Capt Amarinder Singhji & all our party workers who worked tirelessly @capt_amarinder— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) March 11, 2017
Prime Minister Narendra Modi thanked the people of Punjab for letting the BJP-SAD combine serve them.
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has won the Amritsar East assembly constituency. The former cricketer has served two consecutive terms as a BJP Lok Sabha MP from Amritsar.
Sukhbir Singh Badal, president of the Shiromani Akali Dal, defeats AAP MP from Sanrgrur Bhagwant Mann in his home turf of Jalalabad. However, the Akali Dal-BJP alliance has been defeated by the Congress.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted that he had congratulated Amarinder Singh on his victory in Punjab.
Spoke to @capt_amarinder & congratulated him on the win in Punjab. Also wished him a happy birthday & prayed for his long & healthy life.— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 11, 2017
Captain Amarinder Singh reciprocated and tweeted to PM Modi.
AAP leader and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal took to Twitter to comment on his party’s performance. He said, “We accept people’s mandate. The party volunteers worked hard and our struggle will continue.”
जनता का फ़ैसला सर माथे पे। सभी कार्यकर्ताओं ने बहुत मेहनत की। संघर्ष जारी रहेगा।— Arvind Kejriwal (@ArvindKejriwal) March 11, 2017
AAP has won a total of 23 seats in the state.
SAD veteran leader Parkash Singh Badal congratulated Amarinder Singh on the Congress’ win on Saturday.
He said that his party will extend its cooperation with regard to matters related to Punjab.
Badal, who will submit his resignation to the Governor on Sunday, said that the party will call for a core meeting to discuss the issues that led to SAD’s defeat in the state.
He congratulated and thanked Lambi voters after winning the seat with 66,375 votes.
Addressing the media after the Congress gained 75 out of the 117 Assembly seats, veteran leader Amarinder Singh thanked Punjab’s voters for the big win. The state party chief won from Patiala (urban) seat by over 51,000 votes.
He hit out at Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP saying it has “no leadership”.
“In my political career, I’ve seen many third fronts come forward, but people tilt towards one party.”
Singh said that he will meet Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi soon and recommend names for his government’s cabinet ministers.
The government’s priority will be the drugs issue plaguing Punjab.
We will go after all those people who are involved in this menace.
Stating other issues on his agenda, he said: “People want access to good education, employment, setting up of industries and I hope the Union Government will recognise the demands of Punjab.”
He later thanked his supporters on Twitter.
Grateful to the people of Punjab for their overwhelming support! With this verdict, it's time to bring back the heydays of Punjab!— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) March 11, 2017
Let me take this opportunity to thank the Congress rank & file for their tremendous effort!— Capt.Amarinder Singh (@capt_amarinder) March 11, 2017
Congress leader Navjot Singh Sidhu has declared his party’s victory by calling it “gift to Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and Amarinder Singh”.
“People destroyed their pride of the wrong,” Sidhu said lashing out at the Badals.
“This is the revival of the Congress and it is only the beginning. The party will spread from here,” he added.
Congress’ Navjot Singh Sidhu ahead in Amritsar (East) with 21,994 seats. Right behind him is BJP’s Rajesh Kumar Honey with 2,208 votes.
Congress candidate Manpreet Singh Badal is also leading from the Bhatinda (urban) seat with 20,620 votes.
Congress’ Pargat Singh emerged victor from the Jalandhar Cantt seat. He won a total of 59,349 votes.
SAD leader Sukhbir Badal is ahead in Jalalabad with 14,165 seats. His contender - AAP’s Bhagwant Mann is in the second spot with followed by Congress’ Ravneet Singh Bittu.
Congress chief Amarinder Singh might be lagging behind in Lambi but is ahead by 36,552 votes in his second constituency Patiala.
SAD’s Gen JJ Singh (retd) trails badly behind Capt Amarinder Singh and AAP’s Balbir Singh in Patiala.
SAD leader and Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal is leading from his Lambi constituency. Congress chief Captain Amarinder Singh is on the second position followed by AAP’s Jarnail Singh.
SAD leader Bikaram Singh Majithia leads in his Majitha constituency.
Vote counting begins at all the 54 centres in 27 locations in Punjab for 117 assembly seats. Postal ballots will be counted first.
Dry day has been declared in Punjab on Saturday.
- Congress leader Amarinder Singh is ahead by 3,500 votes in Patiala
- SAD leader Parkash Singh Badal leads in Lambi constituency
- Trends for winners and losers expected to be clear around 11 am
- Election Commission to count votes at 54 counting centres at 27 locations
- 70% turnout was recorded during single phase polling in Punjab on 4 February
AAP leader Kumar Vishwas is confident of winning in Punjab and said: “Our party is only 3-4 years old and we've brought about a significant change in the Indian political arena.”
The Congress headquarters in Delhi held a yajna for its candidates on Saturday right before the counting of votes commences.
As the countdown for counting of votes begins, debutant AAP is looking forward to a “New Punjab”.
AAP leader Sanjay Singh wished his Punjab party candidates luck. “Your hard work will definitely pay,” he said.
पंजाब AAP के सभी प्रत्याशियों को हार्दिक शुभकामनायें,नये पंजाब के सपने को प्रभु ज़रूर साकार करेगा आपकी मेहनत रंग लायेगी, #SSA— Sanjay Singh AAP (@SanjayAzadSln) March 11, 2017
Congress leader and former chief minister Amarinder Singh turned 75 on the vote-counting day.
It remains to be seen what gift is in store for the state Congress chief who has announced that this was his last election.
If the Congress, which is seeking to return to power in Punjab after a hiatus of 10 years, wins, he would have two reasons to cheer.
Exit polls by various news channels and survey agencies have indicated a rout for the SAD-BJP alliance in Punjab, with most projecting single-digit seats for the ruling combine.
While some surveys put the Congress and AAP in a neck-and-neck finish, one survey each gave a clear majority to the AAP and the Congress respectively.
Here’s a look at the projections by leading opinion polls.
The stage is set for counting of votes on Saturday to wrap up a staggered poll process in five states – the biggest electoral contest ahead of the 2019 general elections – in what is largely seen as a referendum on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation move.
According to the Election Commission of India, the early trends will start pouring in from 8 am for Punjab, where thousands of central forces have been deployed at 54 vote counting centres in 27 locations.
The Congress is eyeing power in Punjab, but is expected to be given a tough fight by the Aam Aadmi Party, which is also hoping to form government in the state, which would mark its first electoral success outside Delhi.
More than 14,000 officials have been deployed at the counting centres, where tight security arrangements have been made to ensure that the exercise is completed peacefully.
In the 2012 Assembly elections, the state witnessed a direct contest between Congress and SAD-BJP coalition. The ruling SAD-BJP alliance led by Parkash Singh Badal won the elections by securing 68 out of 117 seats.
The SAD won 56 seats, whereas BJP secured 12 seats out of 24 it contested. Indian National Congress, under the leadership of former Chief Minister Amarinder Singh, won 46 seats.
Here’s how Punjab voted in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.