The main opposition party in the state, the Aam Adami Party (AAP), was almost absent from the field during the Shahkot bypoll with no party election booth set up by workers at a distance of few hundred meters from the actual polling stations. It clearly seemed that the contest was between Congress and SAD as only as their party booths were bustling with activity.
AAP candidate Rattan Singh NRI told The Indian Express,”We deliberately did not set up party booths as we are not in favour of this concept and wanted to give a message that once election campaign is finished, political parties should leave it to the voters to cast their votes as per their wish on the poll day.”
A party insider, however, said that AAP did not get enough party workers to set up booths after most of its workers went back to their original parties. Even voters, who were talking a lot about ‘jharhu’ (the election symbol of AAP) during the 2017 polls, hesitated mentioning the party on Monday.
“We saw AAP as a third alternative in the last elections because we were fed up with both SAD and Congress, but AAP has failed us badly in Punjab,” said a voter.
AAP’s then-candidate Amrjit Singh, who has now joined SAD, had scored impressive 41,010 votes in the last election. The winner Ajit Singh Kohar had scored 46,913 votes, while Laddi had polled 42,008 votes in 2017.