Chandigarh, Jun 26 (PTI) Aam Aadmi Party and SAD (Amritsar) candidates are neck and neck in the Sangrur Lok Sabha seat, according to initial trends available on Sunday for the bypoll.

Counting of votes for the bypoll to the high-stakes Sangrur Lok Sabha is underway.

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According to the trends, Shiromani Akali Dal (Amritsar) candidate Simranjit Singh Mann has so far polled 1,00,173 votes while AAP's Gurmail Singh secured 1,00,965 votes.

Mann is a former MP and the president of SAD (Amritsar).

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Congress candidate Dalvir Singh Goldy, BJP's Kewal Dhillon and SAD's Kamaldeep Kaur Rajoana were at the third, fourth and fifth spots respectively, the trends showed.

Counting of votes began at 8 am on Sunday amid tight security arrangements.

The Lok Sabha seat had gone to poll on June 23, recording a low turnout of 45.30 per cent.

The bypoll was necessitated due to the resignation of Bhagwant Mann from the Lok Sabha after he was elected as an MLA in the state assembly elections earlier this year.

Mann, who is the state's chief minister now, had won the Sangrur seat in the 2014 and 2019 parliamentary elections.

The bypoll to Sangrur Lok Sabha seat is the first major electoral battle after the Aam Aadmi Party's resounding victory in the state assembly polls in March this year.

For the ruling AAP, the bypoll is seen as a battle of prestige for retaining its bastion while for the opposition parties Congress, BJP and SAD were looking to register a victory after being decimated in the assembly polls.

The AAP fielded Singh, 38, who is the party's Sangrur district in-charge while the Congress placed its bet on former Dhuri MLA Goldy.

The BJP fielded former Dhillon who joined the party early this month.PTI CHS SUN VSD

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