January 8, 2022 2:43:04 am
Chandigarh will get a new mayor on Saturday. The AAP’s Anju Katyal will fight it out with BJP’s Sarabjit Kaur. The Congress has opted out of the elections by not fielding any candidate.
The elections for the posts of Mayor, Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor will take place at 11 am in Assembly Hall, Municipal Corporation Building, Sector 17. BJP councillor Mahesh Inder Singh Sidhu will be the presiding officer and Deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh will be coming to MC for polls.
By 12 noon, the results for Mayor will be clear. It is the Mayor then who will get the elections of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor done.
While the AAP has been making all efforts and trying its best to win this poll, the BJP is trying hard to save its image in the civic polls by having its Mayor. Speaking to The Indian Express, city BJP president Arun Sood expressed confidence that the BJP will make its Mayor Saturday. “We are sure that it is our party that will make its Mayor Saturday,” Sood said.
The AAP too is sure of its win and says people will get the Mayor of the party they gave mandate to.
AAP councillor and Mayoral candidate Anju Katyal said, “To all those who are talking of my not having experience, I want to say that to become a Mayor you have to have the experience of work, experience of carrying out development work and the experience of addressing people’s problems and that I have. Today 90 per cent of parks are in a pathetic condition. If that is the experience they want me to have, I don’t need this experience.”
Anju, wife of a realtor, is a businesswoman. She has been the general manager (operations) of a firm while the BJP’s Sarabjit Kaur is the wife of ex-BJP councillor Jagtar Jagga. The BJP chose a Jat Sikh candidate as the Punjab elections are around the corner.
Anju is also one of the richest councillors when she had filed nomination. Sarabjit is a housewife. Both are first-timers. This time, the Mayor’s post is reserved for a woman candidate.
For the post of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor, the AAP fielded Prem Lata and Ram Chander Yadav, the BJP fielded Dalip Sharma as a Senior Deputy Mayor candidate and Anup Gupta for the post of Deputy Mayor.
AP vs BJP — 14 all
It will be an interesting contest as both AAP and BJP have 14 votes each in the Mayoral polls. The BJP has 13 councillors plus one vote of Member of Parliament while the AAP has 14 councillors. One vote is that of Akali Dal which the councillor says he will decide after having a meeting with the high command.
Though the Congress has been saying that it will abstain from voting, it will be interesting to note how and what will be the Congress’s course of action in such a scenario. They are in a fix: if they support AAP, it will strengthen the latter’s position in Punjab and if they support BJP, this too will send a wrong message to the public. Of the total 36 votes (36-member House), there are 14 votes of AAP and 14 votes of BJP (13 councillors plus MP’s vote). Seven votes are that of Congress and one is that of Akali Dal councillor.
The AAP has already proposed to the Congress to allow it to have three Mayors and then the next two Mayors can be that of the Congress. However, they haven’t heard anything from the Congress as of now. Congress councillors at the moment are in Jaipur and will be returning only on the night before the elections.
The Congress has become a deciding factor and is also working on the fact that it may not vote leading to a final toss between both the parties. They have seven votes with them.
High stakes for BJP
For the BJP, the Mayoral polls have really high stakes. The AAP secured 14 seats while the BJP got 12. One Congress councillor joined the BJP later. The performance of BJP in the Mayoral polls is important for city BJP president Arun Sood. The party is fighting these elections for the first time under his leadership.
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