After the BJP got a clear majority in the municipal House, party leaders are “rethinking” over giving voting rights to nominated councillors now. Following this, the list of nominated councillors has also been delayed and it would not be declared before December 28. Sources said many BJP leaders suggested that this was the right time to take up the issue with the Centre over the voting rights of nominated councillors.
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In the 36-member House, there are nine nominated councillors in the municipal corporation, while 26 are elected ones. One member is the Member of Parliament, which is from the BJP at present. The nominated councillors have been given voting rights and they hold the key in electing the mayor. For getting a mayor elected, a party needs 19 votes.
Former BJP councillor Satinder Singh said: “This is the right time to rectify the mistakes what the Congress had committed. As per act, the voting rights are not allowed. And now when the BJP has a huge majority, this is the right time to check this.”
Sources said senior leaders in Chandigarh BJP were planning to take up the issue with the party high command in Delhi. Nominated councillor Major D S Sandhu (retd), whose term would end on December 31, said nominated councillors have no value if they don’t have voting rights.
“Nobody is going to ask the nominated councillors if they don’t have voting rights. The nominated councillors have value only if they have the voting rights. Their suggestions would be taken only if they have voting rights. Experts are already there in every department of the municipal corporation.”
The BJP-SAD had made a clean sweep by clinching 21 of the 26 seats in the municipal corporation elections. About 50 people have applied for the posts of nine nominated councillors, most of them BJP members, including wife of former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan.
Satinder Dhawan, the wife of Harmohan Dhawan; Kailash Jain, the BJP spokesperson; Pardeep Bansal, the BJP Mandal president; Davinder Aulakh, a former BJP vice-president; Mayank Mishra, who handles the PR of MP Kirron Kher (in the category of journalist); former BJP councillors Sat Parkash Aggarwal and Des Raj Gupta are in the fray for the posts of nominated councilllors.
Former nominated councillor Surinder Bahga has also applied for the post of nominated counillor again.
The parties have been debating on the issue since the concept was introduced. While the nominated councillors, as per the act, are experts from different professions, the ruling party generally gets those affiliated to it, tilting the scale in their favour.