Counting of votes for the bypoll of the Sangrur parliamentary constituency in the AAP-ruled Punjab began on Sunday.
Just 45.3 per cent voters — 27.1 per cent less than the 2019 elections — cast their franchise on June 23.
The bypoll for AAP-stronghold Sangrur was necessitated following the resignation of Bhagwant Mann, who won the Assembly election in February from the Dhuri constituency, and became the Chief Minister.
The AAP has fielded Mann’s confidant Gurmail Singh, 38, while death row convict Balwant Singh Rajoana’s foster sister Kamaldeep Kaur, 44, is in the fray on the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) ticket.
The other key contenders are BJP’s Kewal Dhillon, 72, and Dalvir Singh Goldy, 40, of the Congress. Both are former legislators.
Mann had won his first election as Sangrur MP in 2014 with a record margin of over 2.10 lakh votes defeating SAD candidate Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa.
In 2019 Mann was the lone AAP MP in Parliament and he had defeated the then Congress candidate Kewal Singh Dhillon by more than 1.1 lakh votes.
In the 2022 Assembly elections, AAP recorded a thumping win by claiming 92 of the Assembly’s 117 seats. The ruling Congress won 18, down from 77 in 2017.
All nine Vidhan Sabha constituencies coming under the Sangrur parliamentary seat was won by the AAP MLAs with a record mandate.