Although the Congress has only four councillors in the municipal corporation now, it has decided to field Gurbax Rawat as the candidate for the upcoming mayoral polls. The mayoral elections are scheduled to be held on January 12. Earlier, the Congress had decided not to field any candidate this time because of its fairly low number in the house. However, the party on Thursday decided to field candidates for all the three posts – mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor.
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Sources said Congress councillors Ravinder Kaur and Sheela Phool Singh are likely to be the candidates for senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor, respectively.
“Senior members of the party suggested that not fielding a candidate would give an impression as if we are running away from giving a fight in the polls,” said a senior Congress leader.
To be elected as a mayor, a candidate needs 19 votes. The BJP-SAD already has a clear majority in the municipal corporation with 21 out of 26 councillors.
In the 36-member house, there are nine nominated councillors in the municipal corporation, while 26 are elected ones. One member is the Member of Parliament, which is from the BJP at present.
The nominated councillors have been given voting rights and they hold the key in electing the mayor. The selected nominated councillors are mostly BJP members.
On getting support of nominated councillors, the Congress leader said: “We will make efforts by visiting them once. At this point of time, all are united and no cross voting within the BJP is expected.”
The formal announcement of the mayoral candidates by the Congress and BJP would be made on Friday.
BJP councillor Asha Jaiswal is a strong contender for the post of mayor. BJP councillors Heera Negi and Raj Bala Malik are also in the fray.
Jaiswal gets along well with leaders of all factions within the BJP. It is expected that her name would be formally announced by the BJP on Friday.