Municipal elections: Three-cornered contest on anvil in ward 1

Lucky to cross swords with greenhorn Sidhu, while Sharma to play spoilsport.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Published:December 2, 2016 6:40 am
Chandigarh municipal elections, BJP, Congress, Harmohinder Singh Lucky, Surajmukhi Sharma, chandigarh civic polls, municipal polls, civic polls, india news, indian express news A broken road in CPWD Colony in Sector 7, Chandigarh, on Thursday. (Source: Jaipal Singh)

A TRIANGULAR contest is on the cards in ward 1, comprising sectors 1 to 11. While BJP has fielded a new face, Congress has chosen a senior leader. In addition, the brother of a senior Congress leader, who was denied ticket, has thrown his hat in the ring.

Harmohinder Singh Lucky, a senior Congress leader and loyalist of former MP Pawan Bansal, will be facing Surajmukhi Sharma, brother of Congress leader Chandramukhi Sharma. While Chandramukhi was councillor of ward 1 earlier, he was not given ticket by the party, being the loyalist of senior Congress leader Manish Tewari.

Watch What Else Is Making News

The Congress votes are set to be divided among the two leaders. BJP has fielded Mahesh Inder Singh Sidhu who, before getting the ticket, was the additional advocate general of Haryana.

As the previous councillor of this ward, Raj Bala Malik is a BJP councillor, who will be contesting from a different ward. Sidhu has decided not to count on the previous failures but to list new promises before the residents. Malik had contested the 2011 polls from this ward on a Congress ticket before crossing over to the BJP after three years. She remained active only in 2012 when she was mayor.

Malik got a nod for the multi-level parking in Sector 17 and the extension of the MC building. But she remained in the news for controversies as well, like the distribution of 406 parking passes against the five entitled.
Ward and its picture.

The ward comprises the homes of VIPs — all from Punjab, Haryana and Chandigarh. Be it the Punjab Raj Bhawan and Haryana Governor’s house or the residences of Punjab and Haryana chief ministers, judges, bureaucrats, MLA hostel, government officers or even the UT Adviser and other top brass, the area outside their houses is always well maintained.

It is the area outside small houses from sectors 7 to 11 that have been completely neglected in the last five years. Of course, this belt will remain the focus for campaigning, too.

Potholed internal lanes of the sectors, littered garbage in the internal markets, broken pavers, ill-maintained parks are the challenges that the new councillor would be facing.

Residents feel that there had been a divide in the ward, which should not have been there. “There should not be any disparity in the ward. Here, only the area outside VIPs’ homes was maintained while the area outside our houses was never paid attention to. This is not done when you create a divide in your own ward,” said Vikram Singh, a resident of Sector 11.

Another resident, Iqbal Singh, of Sector 7, says, “Because a VIP doesn’t use a community centre for his or her event, these were never paid attention to in our ward. There is not even a single community centre in our sector.”