Chandigarh, Mar 6: There are many ironies in the percentage of votes polled by major parties in Punjab—Congress, Akali Dal and BJP—making it clear that the combination between the latter two enabled them get a majority and create history in a state which had never re-elected an incumbent government.
Adding to Congress woes was the People's Party of Punjab (PPP) floated by Manpreet Badal, the estranged nephew of chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, who bagged 5.17 per cent of votes, but failed to win a seat.
Individually, Congress got 40.11 per cent votes, against Akali Dal's 34.75 per cent and BJP's 7.13 per cent, but the two-party combination edged past Congress by 1.77 per cent votes that made the difference between victory and defeat.
In the end, the Akali Dal-BJP combine got 68 seats as against 46 by the Congress, which also marginally lost its vote share by 0.79 per cent from that in the last assembly elections when it polled 40.90 per cent votes.
In fact, the ruling combine suffered a larger erosion in its vote share, which fell from 45.37 per cent in 2007 assembly polls to 41.88 per cent now, a fall of 3.49 per cent.
SAD lost 2.34 per cent of its vote share from last time, while its ally BJP lost 1.15 per cent.
This time the SAD has won 56 seats, against a tally of 49 in the last polls, while the BJP lost seven seats from its tally of 19 in the 2007 polls.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi today admitted as much that the PPP damaged the party's prospects in the state.
“The PPP damaged us more than it did to the Akalis. It damaged us in 23 seats in Punjab,” she said in Delhi, admitting that the party did not do well as per its expectations and will assess the reasons.