FINCUMBENT PRESIDENT Sandeep Sahni on Tuesday registered a thumping victory in the Chandigarh Club elections by defeating his nearest contender Rajkumar Mittal. The other candidates in the fray were former Chandigarh mayor Ravinder Singh Palli and A K Sinha.
Of the total 4,371 votes polled, Sahni bagged 2,321 votes while Mittal got 1,012 votes. Palli had to contend with 863 votes while Sinha got only 138 votes. The losing candidates lost their security deposit of Rs 1 lakh each.
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The high-voltage elections were held at the end of an intense campaign spread over weeks in which allegations of misconduct were levelled against Sahni by other contestants.
The last elections at the club were held in November 2004 when Mukesh Bassi was elected its president. Bassi relinquished the post after becoming a councillor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. Sahni took over as the club president.
Elated at the victory, Sahni thanked the members for showing faith in him. He said that he would continue to work for the development of the club, and promised to try to take up the lease issue of the club with the administration. “The other contestants tried to tarnish my image by levelling false allegations, which didn’t work for them,” said Sahni.
He promised to make the club member-friendly. Other promises include adding international affiliations, clearly defined policies, strict and transparent operational financial control systems, restructuring and training of club staff, construction of sports complex, chip and putt golf range and health club and spa.
A total of eight executive members were also elected. As many as 21 candidates were in the fray.
Other contestants cry foul
High drama was witnessed at the club after around 30 signed ballot papers were found dumped in one corner of the club. Palli and Mittal raised a hue and cry and lodged a complaint with the police alleging that the elections were rigged.
“We found around 30 signed ballot papers dumped in one corner of the club. We have demanded that the elections should be declared null and void,” said Mittal. Palli alleged that the members without voting rights were allowed to vote. “The elections were manipulated,” alleged Palli.
Rubbishing the allegations, returning officer Neeraj Chaudhary said that papers found were counterfoil and not the ballot papers. The elections were held in a fair and transparent manner.