Chandigarh MC Polls: Congress alleges ‘unfair criteria’ adopted; BJP counters

The Congress alleged that the decision to hold the elections on the basis of 2011 census was done to 'save few people'.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh | Published:October 15, 2016 3:42 am
Chandigarh MC Polls, Congress, BJP, unfair means, municipal corporation polls, UT administration, chandigarh, Chandigarh news, India news Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. (Express Photo)

THE DRAW of lots for the reservation of wards was held amidst allegations by the Congress for having “unfair criteria” for the MC polls. The Congress leaders alleged that the UT Administration was working under influence of the ruling party as they decided to hold the elections on the basis of 2011 census.

“If you are holding the elections on the basis of 2011 census, then the ward delimitation should also have been done afresh. It is totally unfair,” alleged Congress councillor Subhash Chawla.

Chawla came out disappointed as his ward was reserved for SC candidates.

He added, “How can they claim that elections are being held fairly when the entire criteria is faulty?”

However State Election Commissioner Rakesh Mehta said, “When the census data of 2011 is available, how can we hold the elections on the basis of 2001 census? That is why this decision was taken.”

The Congress alleged that the decision to hold the elections on the basis of 2011 census was done to “save few people”.

“It has all been done to save few people so that their wards do not get reserved for SC,” added Chawla.

BJP Mayor Arun Sood said, “All these statements of Congress show their frustration and the acceptance of their failure in the forthcoming MC elections. They raised this point before the SEC as well but he replied them that there was no illegality in it. Ward reservation is affecting them so much that Congress has actually accepted their defeat.”

City BJP chief Sanjay Tandon said, “A fair methodolgy has been adopted. Congress is getting into the habit of making allegations unnecessarily.”

There are a total of 4,99,948 voters. The maximum number of voters are in the wards which currently belong to BJP Mayor Arun Sood, BSP councillor Jannat Jahan, Congress councillors Darshan Garg, H C Kalyan, Sheela Phool Singh and BJP councillor Rajinder Rattu. Last time, the corporation elections were held in 2006 on the basis of the 2001 Census.

Reactions of sitting councillors who lost their wards to reservation

# Mukesh Bassi (Congress): Of course, there is disappointment. But from whichever place the party fields me, I will contest the polls.

# Darshan Garg (Congress): I feel that a local candidate must only be fielded, be it BJP or Congress. Now since the wards have been reserved, so these candidates would be fielded from other wards. But the fact is that when a person from other ward is fielded in a different ward, a lot of efforts are required to develop contacts with people.

# Saurabh Joshi (BJP): I am happy with the response from the people of my ward ever since they got to know that my ward has been reserved for women. I have got nearly 1,000 calls from people and that is sufficient for me. The rest it is up to the party to take a call.

# H C Kalyan (Congress): It is difficult because you have done work in your ward and people already know you there. But we will contest from different wards. Wherever the party asks me to contest, I will contest the polls from there only.

# Subhash Chawla (Congress): Elections are always between political parties. And it is the political party that fields its candidate. So wherever my party fields me, I feel my work done in this ward will travel with me to that place.

# Jannat Jahan (BSP): I am sad. Because I carried out those projects in my ward which were literally impossible. Now the new person would take the credit for it. I did all the efforts for the project Deep Complex, the credit of which would be taken by the other person now.
# Sat Prakash Aggarwal (BJP): This is quite normal. It happens everytime. I feel that a candidate must be ready to contest polls from wherever the party asks him to.