Days after the arrest of Congress' three-time legislator from Bholath and chairman All India Kisan Congress, Sukhpal Khaira in connection with a 2015 drugs case
Aam Aadmi Party candidate Sushil Kumar Rinku is leading in the counting of votes for Jalandhar Lok Sabha.
The Shiromani Akali Dal-Bahujan Samaj Party (SAD-BSP) candidate Sukhwinder Kumar Sukhi is second while the Congress is at number three.
The BJP, which has named former SAD leader Inder Iqbal Singh Atwal as its candidate, is number five with Gurjant Singh Kattu of Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) at the fourth place in the first round of counting.
Though 19 candidates are in fray, the main contest is between the ruling Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), main Opposition party Congress, Shiromani Akali Dal-Bahujan Samaj Party (SAD-BJP) combine and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
A Congress stronghold, Jalandhar seat fell vacant after Congress’ Member of Parliament (MP) Santokh Singh Chaudhary, 76, died of a heart attack during Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Yatra in Punjab this January.
In the 2022 Assembly polls, Congress had won five of the nine segments in the Jalandhar Lok Sabha seat while the AAP won the remaining four.