The seat had fallen vacant following the demise of BJP MP Vinod Khanna, who had won the seat four times since 1998. The Congress candidate took an early lead when the counting process began in two counting centres set up at Sukhjindra College in Gurdaspur for the six assembly constituencies and at the SD College in Pathankot for the rest three constituencies of Pathankot district. Nearly 56 per cent of 15.22 lakh-strong electorate exercised their franchise on October 11 in Gurdaspur lok sabha bypoll to decide the fate of eleven candidates. The election campaign of the SAD-BJP alliance candidate was damaged by allegations of rape against former Akali minister Sucha Singh Langah and later Salaria himself.
The implementation of GST also hit Salaria hard in the industrial towns of Batala and Pathankot. During the election campaign, the SAD-BJP alliance and AAP projected Jakhar, who lost from Abohar constituency during Punjab assembly polls, as an 'outsider'. Both parties also raised the farm loan waiver issue in the electioneering.
The Gurdaspur parliamentary seat has nine assembly segments—Bhoa, Pathankot, Gurdaspur, Dinanagar, Qadian, Fatehgarh Churian, Dera Baba Nanak, Sujanpur and Batala. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Capt Amarinder Singh congratulated Congress candidate Sunil Jakhar on his landslide victory in Gurdaspur lok sabha bypoll. He assured voters of Gurdaspur that Jakhar would fulfill all poll promises made to them during campaigning for the bypoll. (UNI)