Congress’s Gurbax Rawat seems firm to contest against Raj Bala Malik and according to the critics, with a hope that cross-voting in the Bharatiya Janata Party will help.
Even with just five councillors in the general house, Rawat affirmed that anyone entering the fray, does so with the spirit of winning.
While for the post of the Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor, the Congress has fielded Sheela Phool Singh and Ravinder Gujral, respectively, Rawat will contest for the post of Mayor. An IT Professional, Rawat is Masters in Computer Science.
On being asked if she thinks that she can still win with the support of just five councillors, a 39-year-old Rawat said, “The real cards would be opened on January 10, when the elections will be held. No one enters the ring without the hope of winning.”
Listing the works that she will complete if she wins, Rawat said, “The first thing that I would like to ensure is women safety. Being a woman Mayor, this is the first thing you would like to work for. Women in the city are unsafe and I want to get the law and order in place.”
The other priority for her, she said, was good roads. “The maintenance of various works done by the corporation in the last two three years is zero. Look at the roads. They become potholed soon. I want to ensure good roads for people,” she said. A politician from Uttarakhand, Rawat is a seasoned Congress leader. She won for the second time in the corporation polls this time.
“Sanitation is another issue that I want to focus on, if I am elected. Chandigarh had a position some time back and was one of the cleanest cities. Look at the situation now. It is on the 27th rank in the second quarter of the Swachh Survekshan survey. This is another field I would like to work on.”
In the previous Mayor elections, Congress had fielded Sheela Phool Singh and she had withdrawn, with the Congress giving its entire support to BJP rebel candidate Satish Kainth. Kainth, who later lost to Rajesh Kalia, was then expelled by the BJP and he had joined the Congress party.
Turmoil in BJP
Equations have not been smooth in the BJP since 2016.
As the party announced BJP councillor Davesh Moudgil as its official candidate in 2018, there was opposition and BJP councillor Asha Jaswal had filed nomination independently.
However, she had withdrawn her nominations following pressure by the high command.
In 2019, when Rajesh Kalia was declared the Mayor, BJP councillor Satish Kainth had filed nominations independently. Kainth had lost and was later expelled from the BJP.