Punjab Assembly election results: Congress wins 77 as Amarinder Singh turns 75

Congress had a rough day today, getting soundly beaten by the BJP in two states and barely scrapping by in another two. The only silver lining for the grand old party was Punjab.

The Congress had a less than memorable outing in Uttar Pradesh, where the party was not even able to enter double digits in the country's biggest Assembly.

In neighboring Uttarakhand it was soundly beaten the Bharatiya Janata Party. In Manipur and Goa, on the other hand, the Congress managed to edge out the BJP, but barely.

The only silver lining for the grand old party was Punjab, where the party beat the competition by an over 2:1 margin.

The Captain Amarinder Singh-led Congress came tantalisingly close to winning a two-thirds majority in the Punjab Assembly, falling short by just one seat. {funfacts}

TOP DEVELOPMENTS:

  1. By final results, Congress had won 77 seats with a 38.5 per cent vote share; AAP won 20 seats with a 23.8 per cent share. SAD-BJP, performing better than what exit polls had predicted, ultimately won 18 seats (SAD: 15; BJP: 3) on a combined 30.6 per cent vote share (SAD: 25.2 per cent; BJP: 5.4 per cent). The remaining two seats went to the Lok Insaaf Party.
  2. The Congress was off to a flying start in the morning, taking early leads once results started trickling in soon after counting began at 8 am.
  3. For the first few hours, it seemed as though the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party would race to the finish. However, as the election results started becoming clearer, the Congress gathered steam and left the competition far behind.
  4. By noon, it was clear that the Congress would win a majority in Punjab's 117-seat Assembly. And, Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party, from being a contender for becoming Punjab's single largest party, saw itself fighting a neck and neck battle with the SAD-BJP alliance to determine which party/combine would be Punjab's principle opposition.
  5. Towards late afternoon, the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance, however, saw itself lose the leads it had garnered in the morning, clearing the way for the APP to come in at the second place in the Punjab Vidhan Sabha.
  6. Congress's Navjot Singh Sidhu won from the Amritsar East constituency and will certainly hope that he is rewarded with a substantial cabinet position in the new government. While there are murmurs about his interest in the deputy chief minister's post, the decision for that post, both Amarinder Singh and Sidhu clarified, will be made by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
  7. AAP's Bhagwant Mann, one of the most watched figures in the Punjab Assembly election, lost to Sukhbir Singh Badal in Jalalabad. Revenue minister Bikram Singh Majithia, meanwhile, won the Majitha seat, but with the SAD-BJP going out of power, will lose his cabinet berth.
  8. For Amarinder Singh, who lost to Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Lambi but won from his home seat of Patilala (Urban), it promises to be a memorable 75th birthday. The veteran leader, who will become the next chief minister of Punjab, has already said that this is his final political foray. Badal has said he will submit his resignation to the governor tomorrow.
  9. The Congress has called for a meeting of its victorious MLAs in Chandigarh tomorrow. While the party hasn't said what will be on agenda in the meeting, expect Amarinder Singh to be formally elected as the party's leader in the Assembly.

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