Will Amritpal Singh win? Jailed preacher leading in Punjab's Khadoor Sahib seat

Amritpal Singh leads by a margin of 30,987 votes against Zira, a former MLA

India Sikh Separatist (File) Sikh separatist leader and head of Waris Punjab De Amritpal Singh | AP

Amritpal Singh, the Khalistani preacher who is in Assam Jail, is currently leading in Punjab's Khadoor Sahib Lok Sabha seat over the Congress' Kulbir Singh Zira, according to the Election Commission's initial trend. Amritpal Singh was leading by a margin of 30,987 votes against Zira, a former MLA. 

Khadoor Sahib Lok Sabha seat comprises of nine Assembly seats and is part of the Tarn Taran district. It was one of 13 seats established in Punjab after the 2008 delimitation process. Besides Amritpal Singh and Zira, other candidates in the ray include Aam Aadmi Party’s (AAP) Laljit Singh Bhullar and Harpal Singh Baler from the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). In Punjab, the AAP and Congress are leading in five seats each. 

Amritpal, 31, contested as an Independent candidate with his campaign led by his father Tarsem Singh and local supporters. The streets were lined with posters of the preacher depicting him with swords and bullet-proof vests. According to his father, people from across Punjab are independently coming forward to support Amritpal.

As per initial trends, the Congress was leading in seven seats in Punjab, while the AAP was ahead in three seats. Congress candidates were leading from Amritsar, Jalandhar, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ferozepur, Gurdaspur, Anandpur Sahib and Ludhiana seats and the AAP was ahead in Hoshiarpur, Sangrur and Patiala.

As per exit polls, the INDIA bloc is expected to do well in Punjab winning 8-10 seats. While AAP, an INDIA bloc partner who chose to contest independently in Punjab, could win 1 seat while BJP between 2-4. 

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