CHANDIGARH MEMBER of Parliament Kirron Kher will play an important role in the upcoming Municipal Corporation elections for the BJP, right from the selection of candidates to the party’s campaign, said local party head Sanjay Tandon. “Our MP will play a big role in all matters relating to the polls, from candidate selection to strategising the campaign and holding public meetings,” Tandon said. “I will do whatever the party wants from me,” said Kher. She has already been quite visible in recent weeks, inaugurating as many as 20 projects in the past two months, five of those in the first week of October alone.
Kher’s political rivals are alleging that these inaugurations have been timed to boost the electoral prospects of the BJP in the municipal body elections. Kher denied there was a link between the inaugurations and the civic elections that are due in the third week of December. The model code of conduct will come into effect as soon as the election date is announced – likely next month. “The projects are getting inaugurated now because only now that we have managed to get them completed. They are for the welfare of city residents,” Kher said. The projects she has inaugurated recently include green belts, E-Sampark centres, solar power plants, a senior citizen home and a working women’s hostel. She also distributed material under welfare schemes.
On October 8, the MP also inaugurated new book market in Sector 15, while on October 7, she inaugurated two solar photovoltaic power plants, one each at Sector 17 and Sector 43 Inter-State Bus Terminals (ISBT). She inaugurated three facilities for the passengers at Chandigarh Railway Station on October 3, while a day before she had inaugurated two tube wells at the Dhanas rehabilitation colony. On October 1, Kher launched healthcare initiative for elderly citizens named Kushal Mitra (Doctor Apey Dwaar). Chandigarh Congress president Pradeep Chhabra said,. “This is for the first time MP has stayed for so long in the city. These inaugurations are an attempt to promote the party, as they don’t have any achievement to show,” said Chhabra.
Traditionally in Chandigarh, the MP is the face of the party, especially as there is no MLA. The 61-year-old leader, who is often criticised by rivals for not spending enough time in her constituency, has been camping in the city for over a month now and is expected to remain here till the elections are over. More inaugurations by Kher are likely soon.
Inaugurations marred by controversies
In May this year, Kher had raised an objection over her name not figuring on all the plaques at an inaugural function at PEC University. A total of four inauguration stones of different projects were laid on the campus – the MP’s name was missing from three plaques. An upset Kher had allegedly said people in the city were busy trying to make officials happy and don’t care about the MP. MP Kher lashed out at railways officials on October 3 for coming late to an inaugural function at Chandigarh Railway station.