In early trends, the AAP crossed majority mark with 79 seats at 9:45 AM in the 117 Punjab Assembly for which majority mark is 59, as per Election commission reports.
Congress’ Navjot Singh Sidhu was trailing at second place from Amritsar East Assembly constituency. Punjab Lok Congress leader Captain Amarinder Singh is also trailing at second place after second round of counting.
Charanjit Singh Channi was trailing from Chamkaur Sahib.
As per ECI, Congress had 14 followed by SAD (7).
Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu was trailing on the second position in Amritsar East constituency behind AAP’s Jeevan Jotbkaur.
Counting for 117 assembly seats in Punjab began at 8 am across state on Thursday.
Exit polls on Monday predicted a clear victory for the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Punjab with the scale of the party’s victory varying across various surveys.
AAP’s Chief Ministerial candidate Bhagwant Mann residence in Dhuri is decorated with flowers ahead and Jalebi preparation had begun even before the counting had started.
If AAP wins Punjab, it will be the party’s maiden victory in the state and a vast improvement from its performance in the 2017 elections when it had finished second behind Congress.
Congress went into the polls having battled factionalism and anti-incumbency. The party changed its chief minister in September last year even as new Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu hinted about his own chief ministerial ambitions. The Congress finally declared Charanjit Singh Channi, the first Dalit Chief Minister of Punjab, as its chief ministerial candidate days before the polling on February 20.
The Shiromani Akali Dal, which had broken off its alliance with BJP over three farm laws that were eventually repealed, tied up with Bahujan Samaj Party for the assembly elections.
It is the first time that BJP fought over 65 seats in Punjab. It tied up with former chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh’s Punjab Lok Congress and SAD (Sanyukt) led by SS Dhindsa. BJP leaders have talked of putting up a strong performance in the polls.
Punjab recorded an average voter turnout of 65.50 per cent on February 20 compared to over 77 per cent in 2017.