Riding a Modi wave, BJP won Chandigarh, the joint capital of Punjab and Haryana.
Party’s candidate actor-turned-politician Kirron Kher, who faced charges of being an “outsider” in Chandigarh, managed to register a victory on city’s lone lok Sabha seat, lapping up the anti-incumbency votes against the Congress.
Fighting her maiden election, Kher managed to get 1,91,362 votes (42.20 percentage vote share) and recorded her victory from Chandigarh Parliamentary seat leading by 69,642 votes from her main rival Congress candidate Pawan Kumar Bansal, who got 1,21,270 (26.84 per cent vote share) votes in his favour.
Another actor in the poll fray, AAP’s Gul Panag remained at the third slot with 1,08,679 votes (23.97 per cent vote share) followed by Jannat Jahan of Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) with 15,934 votes (3.51 per cent).While both Kher and Panag were trying their luck for the first time in the ballot fight, the four-time MP Bansal was contesting his seventh elections in lok Sabha polls 2014.
During last lok Sabha polls in 2009, Bansal had managed to record a hat-trick from the Chandigarh seat recording 52.06 per cent votes in his favour. However, it was totally different ball game for Bansal this time, with strong anti-incumbency mood among the electorate and the opposition raking up Railway Board Bribery Scam as a poll issue.
Earlier, the BJP had won in 1996 and 1998 with vote share of 38.4 per cent and 42.36 per cent respectively.From social networking websites to mobile applications, Kirron had utilised all ways to reach out to the city denizens during her political campaigning. Besides BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi’s Bharat Vijay Rally in Chandigarh, the support of senior BJP leaders and actors Anupam Kher, Anil Kapoor had given boost to her campaign in the city.
Meanwhile, the new entrant Aam Aadmi Party registered vote share of 23.97 cutting into the Congress’ vote bank in the city. As per the Election department data, both rural and urban voters polled for BJP while the AAP candidate got support from villagers and colonies (rural Chandigarh). During polls, the city had recorded an impressive voters’ turnout of 73.84 per cent, highest ever electorate turnout in Chandigarh.
During elections, the political bigwigs and celebrities had joined the local party units for campaigning. BJP’s star campaigner Narendra Modi had held a rally in favour of Kher while AAP’s convenor Arvind Kejriwal had held a road show to campaign for party’s candidate Gul Panag. The actor Anil Kapoor and Anupam Kher campaigned for Kirron Kher while Raghu Ram of the MTV Roadies, comedian-turned-politician Bhagwant Maan and Punjabi singer Jaswinder Jassi appealed people to vote for Gul Panag.