Congress candidate leads in Gurdaspur LS bypoll

Chandigarh, (IANS) Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar was ahead of his BJP rival Swarn Salaria as the counting of votes polled in the October 11 by-election to the Gurdaspur Lok Sabha constituency was underway on Sunday.

Jakhar, who is the Punjab Congress president, was leading over Salaria by over 14,000 votes after four rounds of counting.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Major General Suresh Kumar Khajuria (retd) was on the third spot.

The counting is being conducted in centres in Gurdaspur and Pathankot towns.

The fate of 11 candidates in the fray will be decided by Sunday afternoon.

Nearly 56 per cent of the 15.22 lakh registered voters exercised their franchise for the seat. The voter turnout was much lower than the over 70 per cent polling in the 2014 general elections.

The seat fell vacant in April following the passing away of veteran actor Vinod Khanna, a four-time MP from the seat.

The Bharatiya Janata Party is trying to retain the seat while the Congress, which recently came to power in Punjab after sweeping the assembly polls, is trying to wrest it from the BJP.

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