In the just-concluded elections to the 18th Lok Sabha in which Congress won seven seats, the grand old party also secured victories in 14 of the 34 Assembly segments reserved for Scheduled Castes (SC) that form part of the 13 parliamentary constituencies in the state. . The ruling Aam Aadmi Party, which improved its tally to three Lok Sabha seats, registered victory in nine such assembly segments.

Of the three regions in Punjab, Doaba has eight SC Assembly segments and the Congress asserted its dominance winning five of them, while AAP claimed victory in three.

Of the six SC reserved Assembly segments in the Majha region, Congress clinched victory in three. Radical Sikh preacher Amritpal Singh, who is currently in a jail in Assam after being booked under the stringent National Security Act, emerged as a dark horse and secured victory in two such segments while the BJP won one.

In the Malwa region, home to 20 SC Assembly segments, the spoils were shared equally by the Congress and the AAP winning six each. The Shiromani Akali Dal won five segments. Independents and the BJP added to the electoral narrative with victories in two and one assembly segments, respectively, underscoring the region’s dynamic political landscape.

Presenting a united face, well planned campaigning, and with an understanding of grassroots issues, the Congress resonated with the electorate, winning the biggest share of the SC reserved segments. The five SC Assembly segments it won in the Doaba region includes all four — Jalandhar West, Kartarpur, Phillaur and Adampur — in Jalandhar parliamentary constituency and one — Shri Hargobindpur — under Hoshiarpur Lok Sabha seat.

Festive offer

The three it won in Majha include Dina Nagar under Gurdaspur parliamentary constituency, and two — Amritsar West and Attari — in Amritsar Lok Sabha seat. The six such Assembly segments it won in Malwa region, including Chamkaur Sahib in Ananadpur Sahib parliamentary constituency, Jagraon and Gill in Ludhiana parliamentary constituency; Payal and Raikot in Fatehgarh Sahib parliamentary constituency, and Nabha under Patiala Lok Sabha seat.

The Aam Aadmi Party, which stormed to power in Punjab in 2022 winning 92 of the total 117 Vidhan Sabha seats, failed to continue with the momentum and had to remain satisfied with victory in nine Assembly segments. While the party’s campaign was rooted in promises of change and grassroots activism, the electorate was not happy with the ruling party for failing to fulfill the promises it had made ahead of the 2022 state polls.

In Doaba region, the AAP got lead in three reserved Assembly segments Chabbewal and Sham Chaurasi and Phagwara — all in Hoshirapur parliamentary constituency. The AAP could not get a lead in any of the reserved Assembly seats in the Majha region. In Malwa, however, it took lead in Dirba, Bahadur and Mehal Kalan segments under Sangrur Lok Sabha seat; Bassi Pathana, Shutrana and Banga in Fatehgarh Sahib, Patiala and Anandpur Sahib Lok Sabha seats, respectively. The Akali got lead in five segments of only two parliamentary constituencies including Bhuchomandi, Bathinda (Rural) and Budhlada under Bathinda Lok Sabha seat and Ferozepur (Rural) and Malout under Ferozepur Lok Sabha seat.

In the dynamic political milieu of Punjab, victories of radical candidates including Amritpal Singh from Khadoor Sahib seat and former prime minister Indira Gandhi’s assassin’s son Sarabjeet Singh from Faridkot Lok Sabha seat added a new layer to the electoral narrative. With two victories each in SC reserved Assembly segments in their respective constituencies, these candidates echoed the diverse voices and aspirations of the electorate. In Khadoor Sahib, Amritpal secured lead in Jandiala and Baba Bakala segments while in Faridkot, Sarabjet got lead in Nihalsinghwala and Jaitu.

The numbers pertaining to the Lok Sabha elections in 2019 and 2014 and Punjab Vidhan Sabha elections in 2017 and 2022 show that the performance of Congress and the AAP remained strong compared to SAD-BJP and other parties. In 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Congress secured lead in 19 SC Assembly segments.

In 2017 state polls in which it gained power, Congress had recorded victory in 21 such seats. AAP was at second place in both 2019 LS elections and 2017 Assembly polls with a lead of three and nine seats, respectively. The AAP, however, took the lead in the 2022 Assembly polls and the 2014 Lok Sabha elections winning 28 and 14 Assembly segments, respectively while the Congress was at number two in these elections with leads on five and 12 seats, respectively.

As far as other parties are concerned, BJP got lead on three Assembly segments each in 2019 and 2014 Lok Sabha elections, one seat in 2017 Vidhan Sabha poll. The saffron party failed to get a lead on any of the SC Assembly seats in 2022 state polls.

The Akali Dal, which has remained out of favor beginning with its loss in 2017 state polls, had secured lead on six SC Assembly segments in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, five seats in 2014 general elections, five in 2022 Assembly elections and three in 2017 Assembly. elections. In 2019 Lok Sabha elections, BSP and Lok Insaaf Party (LIP) had secured lead on two and one SC reserved Assembly segments, respectively.