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Chandigarh civic polls: Congress sweeps out old guard, inducts fresh faces for elections

🔴 Among those who made the cut in the first list of 30 candidates released on Thursday were wives, sons, and siblings of sitting councillors as well as a garbage collector, a fireworks trader and a priest.

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh |
December 3, 2021 4:51:18 am
Congress, Punjab Congress, Chandigarh civic body elections, Chandigarh civic polls, Punjab news, Chandigarh city news, Chandigarh, India news, Indian Express News Service, Express News Service, Express News, Indian Express India NewsParty insiders said that the Congress had picked up lawyers, shopkeepers and even garbage collectors — basically anyone who connected with the people was given a ticket. (File)

The Congress on Thursday released its first list for Chandigarh civic body elections, with sources stating that the party’s sole focus was on primarily infusing young, fresh blood in the poll race.

Among those who made the cut in the first list of 30 candidates released on Thursday were wives, sons, and siblings of sitting councillors as well as a garbage collector, a fireworks trader and a priest.

Sources said that Congress veterans like Pawan Bansal and Subhash Chawla had their say in the selection of tickets and they were the ones who primarily decided who got the tickets and who was to be left out.

In the last civic body elections, Subhash Chawla was eyeing an opportunity to field his son Sumit Chawla but failed to do so. This time Sumit, a dynamic young leader, has been fielded from ward 14 — that comprises areas like Dhanas, LIG Colony Dhanas, Milkman Colony, and Aman Chaman Colony, and Ambedkar Colony, the area from which Chawla has earlier been a councillor.

The Congress has also selected Darshana Rani, the wife of Gurcharan Das Kala, from ward 5. Due to Gurcharan’s strong hold in the Manimajra belt, Darshana has been fielded, sources said.

“We wanted a fresh, young team this time and thus mostly young candidates have been fielded. We aim to rule the civic body with young people with fresh ideas and are confident that our selected candidates will surely win,” said Congress president, Subhash Chawla .

Sources claimed that Devinder Singh Babla was expecting a ticket for himself from ward number 22, citing the amount of development work done by him. However, the party instead has chosen to field his sister Balwinder Kaur from ward 22, with Babla’s wife Harpreet Kaur being fielded from ward 10. In 2016, Balwinder had contested the polls on a SAD ticket.

Party insiders said that the Congress had picked up lawyers, shopkeepers and even garbage collectors — basically anyone who connected with the people was given a ticket.

As per Thursday’s list, fireworks dealer Davinder Gupta — who is also the president of the Chandigarh Crackers Association — has been fielded by the party from ward 35, while door-to-door garbage collector, Om Prakash Saini, also got a ticket.

The youngest candidate in the list released by the Congress is Atinder Jeet Singh Robby, who is 26-year-old and a lawyer. Robby is the son of Bhupinder Singh Badheri, a Congress leader.

Upset over ticket distribution, some announce resignation

A few Congress workers, upset over not getting tickets, on Thursday announced their resignation ina huff.

Among those who put in their papers on Thursday were Naveen Gupta and Ramcharan Gupta,who were hopeful of getting tickets from ward 11 and 18 respectively.

Congress worker Dharamveer, the chairman of Congress’s SC cell is also upset with the ticket distribution, but has not announced his resignation yet.

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