AFTER staying chairman of the Federation of Sector Welfare Associations of Chandigarh (FOSWAC) for 10 years, P C Sanghi suffered a defeat in the election on Sunday.
Baljinder Singh Bittu, the president of Resident Welfare Association, Sector 21, defeated Sanghi by a margin of 45 votes to become the new chairman.
In fact, it was a clean sweep for Bittu’s panel, with all three posts going to them. Of the total 327 members of FOSWAC, 301 cast their votes. Of these, Bittu polled 172 votes and Sanghi 127. Sanghi had been chairman for the last five terms.
For the post of vice-chairman, J C Verma polled 151 votes to defeat J S Multani who received 137 votes. For the post of general secretary, 153 votes were polled in favour of J S Gogia and 144 for P S Bajwa.
FOSWAC is an umbrella organisation that has 61 RWAs as its constituents. It is the biggest association of RWAs in the city. The elections were held at the community centre in Sector 27. The general body meeting was held in the morning. This was followed by polling. As the results were declared in the evening, there was celebration in Bittu’s camp.
Talking about his priorities, Bittu put empowerment of RWAs high on his agenda. “Some funds should be allocated to RWAs so that work could be done in the sectors. While high salaries are paid to sweepers, they are rarely seen working. Instead the RWAs can arrange the sweepers at a lesser amount and also monitor their functioning,” he said.
Bittu said he would ensure that a helpline for senior citizens was started so that in case of an emergency, help could reach instantly. He said that provision of basic amenities like roads, sewerage and power supply were some of the issues that his team would take up with the authorities.
Sanghi, however, said that it seemed people wanted a change. “I have been the chairman for five consecutive terms. Money and muscle power seem to have played a role,” he added.