Chandigarh: Several political stalwarts and senior leaders, including Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi, SAD patriarch Parkash Singh Badal, former chief minister Amarinder Singh and Punjab Congress president Navjot Singh Sidhu, were trailing in their respective assembly constituencies in Punjab, according to initial trends in the counting of votes.
Besides, Shiromani Akali Dal chief Sukhbir Singh Badal, former chief minister Rajinder Kaur Bhattal, former Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa, SAD leader Bikram Singh Majithia and former union minister Vijay Sampla were also behind their nearest rivals.
The Aam Aadmi Party appeared to be heading for a clean sweep, having taken a big lead in 88 of the 117 seats in Punjab.
Counting of votes for 117 assembly seats in Punjab began at 8am Thursday amid tight security arrangements.
Five-time chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who was seeking re-election from his home turf Lambi, was trailing behind his nearest rival and AAP candidate Gurmeet Singh Khudian by a margin of 4,385 votes.
At 94, Badal is the country’s oldest candidate to fight elections.
Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi was trailing from the two seats he contested — Chamkaur Sahib and Bhadaur.
AAP candidate Labh Singh Ugoke was leading from Bhadaur seat, which is part of the politically significant Malwa region.
Channi was also trailing from his home constituency Chamkaur Sahib which he represented thrice.
AAP nominee Charanjit Singh is leading from Chamkaur Sahib seat by a margin of 1,438 votes.
Punjab Lok Congress chief and former chief minister Amarinder Singh was trailing from his pocket borough Patiala Urban.
The scion of the erstwhile Patiala royal family has been a legislator from Patiala seat in 2002, 2007, 2012 and 2017 as a Congress candidate.
AAP candidate Ajit Pal Singh Kohli was leading by a margin of 9,592 votes from Patiala Urban.
SAD chief Sukhbir Singh Badal is also trailing from his home turf Jalalabad in Fazilka district. AAP candidate Jagdeep Kamboj is leading from Jalalabad by a margin of 5,017 votes.
In Lehra seat, AAP candidate Barinder Kumar Goyal was leading over SAD (Sanyukt) candidate Parminder Singh Dhindsa by a margin of 22,862 votes.
Former Chief Minister and Congress leader Rajinder Kaur Bhattal who was also fighting from Lehra was trailing.
Former Punjab Congress chief Partap Singh Bajwa was trailing in the Qadian assembly seat from where SAD candidate Guriqbal Singh Mahal was leading by 141 votes.
Former Union minister and BJP candidate Vijay Sampla was trailing in Phagwara seat.
BSP candidate Jasvir Singh Garhi is leading over his nearest rival and Congress candidate Balwinder Singh Dhaliwal in Phagwara seat by a margin of 1,493 votes.