New Delhi, May 31: Congress candidate Hardev Singh Ladi registered a thumping victory from Punjab’s Shahkot Assembly Seat with a margin of 38,802 votes. He had defeated Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)’s  Naib Singh Kohar and Aam Aadmi Party candidate. The counting of votes began at 8 AM on Thursday in Jalandhar in the presence of the election observer, candidates of the political parties and their representatives amid tight security arrangements. The Shahkot seat remained a stronghold of the Akali Dal for over two decades in the past. Also Read - Congress Decides to Postpone Party President Election Due to Pandemic

While the main contest was said to be between the ruling Congress and opposition Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) made it a three-cornered contest by fielding its candidate.

Following Ladi’s victory,  Shiromani Akali Dal leader Naib Singh Kohar has alleged rigging of EVMs and demanded a probe.

The Assembly seat fell vacant following the demise of sitting Akali Dal legislator Ajit Singh Kohar in February. Kohar, a former minister, was elected five times from this seat. His son Naib Singh Kohar was fielded by the Akali Dal. Notably, there were 12 candidates in the fray this time.

On May 28, polling was held peacefully in Shahkot with over 76 per cent voting recorded. Electors turned up in a big way to exercise their franchise in hot weather. To ensure that the counting proceeds smoothly, three-tier security arrangements were made. More than 300 police personnel have been deployed at the counting centre.