AFTER BEING reprimanded by high command in Delhi, outgoing mayor Asha Jaswal took a U-turn on Sunday and announced that she would withdraw her nomination against party’s official mayoral candidate Davesh Moudgil on Monday. The other rebel candidate, Ravi Kant Sharma, too, announced his withdrawal of nomination. The voting will take place on January 9.
After a day-long meeting of senior leaders, including general secretary (organisation) Dinesh Kumar, city BJP chief Sanjay Tandon and 11 councillors, Jaswal in the evening declared that she would step back. She made the announcement in the presence of senior leaders, councillors and Moudgil himself. Jaswal even showed Moudgil’s apology letter in front of him.
Jaswal told Chandigarh Newsline that Moudgil had expressed apologies for his behaviour and even given an apology letter in writing to the party councillors on the basis of which she decided to withdraw her nomination. Until Saturday, Jaswal was ready to face expulsion from the party as she was not willing to support the party’s wrong decision.
Sources said that senior leaders in Delhi had asked her to withdraw her nomination or else face expulsion from the party as the BJP’s image in Chandigarh had been tarnished a lot with her act. “There was no pressure of expulsion on me. Rather there was pressure on Moudgil to express apology. In apology letter, he said that he was very sorry for his behaviour with everybody if anybody was offended. That was the reason I decided to step back,” Jaswal said.
BJP official candidate Davesh Moudgil said, “I am really happy that she has withdrawn her nomination.”
Asked if he gave an apology letter, Moudgil said that he would not like to comment on it. Chandigarh affairs incharge Prabhat Jha told Chandigarh Newsline, “From the first day I have been saying that it is just an off-the-cuff reaction because of which the nominations were filed independently. It was just a human reaction and now that stands resolved.”
Jaswal, who is a close associate of Sanjay Tandon, had revolted against the BJP’s choice of mayoral candidate Davesh Moudgil who is considered close to Member of Parliament Kirron Kher and former MP Satya Pal Jain. Tandon’s camp had not expected that the party would pick Moudgil as mayoral candidate as they were pitching in for councillor Arun Sood. The decision had come as a blow to Tandon and his camp as it had indicated that it was losing grip over Chandigarh BJP affairs.