With an eye on the Shimla Municipal Corporation polls scheduled for May 27,Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal is likely to propose the name of towns leading surgeon Dr S S Minhas for the post of the mayor.
A non-political figure,Shimla-born Minhas was in the UK when he was reportedly offered the candidature for the mayors post. Minhas,who had retired as department head of surgery at Indira Gandhi Medical College (IGMC) a year ago,had also served as the senior medical superintendent at the hospital. After retirement,he had taken up private practice at local hospitals.
When contacted,Shimla MLA Suresh Bhardwaj said: The BJP is considering a non-political name,a professional and educated person who can think differently and deliver to the citizens. It is going to be a new choice,not necessarily a politician or a party man.
Earlier in the day,when asked about his decision on the candidates for the mayor and deputy mayors post,Dhumal said: The candidates will be announced before May 5,when the process for filing of nominations begins formally.
According to sources,Dhumal had batted for a senior IAS officer J S Rana and almost made up his mind to offer him the mayors post. The party had also conducted a secret survey to see who will be the best candidate. Four names have come up,including Rana and Ganesh Dutt,vice-chairman of HIMUDA.
On Tuesday evening,Minhas name had come up and Dhumal had reportedly contacted him for the purpose. Sitting BJP MLA and councillors have also endorsed Minhas name. Only a formal party seal is now needed, said a leader.
While the Congress,which now rules the municipal corporation,is yet to decide on its candidates,the CPM has already announced its candidates. This is first time when there will be a direct election to the post of mayor and deputy mayor of the town. The elections are being seen as a semi-final before the Assembly elections slated for year-end.