The candidature of BJP rebel candidate Chanderwati Shukla was cancelled on technical grounds on Tuesday. Shukla had filed nomination for the mayor’s post against the BJP’s official candidate Ravi Kant Sharma. It will now be Ravi Kant Sharma versus Devinder Babla in the mayoral elections.
Additional Commissioner-cum-Secretary, Municipal Corporation, Ajay Garg said that the nomination was cancelled because one person cannot be the proposer and seconder for two mayoral candidates as per the Act.
“The nomination was rejected because Satish Kainth seconded mayoral candidate Devinder Babla and candidate Chanderwati Shukla too. According to Section 6(3) of Chandigarh MC act, no one person shall be seconder of two people at a time. Kainth seconded Babla and Shukla too which cannot be done,” Garg said.
Mayor elections are scheduled to take place on January 8. After the new development, Shukla told The Indian Express, “What do I do now? My candidature has been cancelled. I still have reservations for the party for not giving me a chance.”
Congress candidate Devinder Babla said that he did speak to give up his own candidature and to retain Shukla’s but they didn’t listen. “This is how BJP played its act. When they realised that party councillors won’t listen to them, they pressured officers and found a technical way,” Babla said.
City BJP chief Arun Sood said that even Babla’s candidature should be cancelled. “I had said yesterday itself that technically the proposer and seconder can’t be same for two people. Babla’s nomination should also be cancelled that way because he is himself mayoral candidate and he is proposing Shukla too. This way both candidates’ nomination should be cancelled.
Moreover, we have pacified both our councillors,” Sood said.
About resentment by Shukla and Bharat Kumar, the city BJP chief said, “As I said it was just a spontaneous action in anger and now both are happy. Obviously one feels bad when they are frontrunners but it is all party’s decision. And now they both are pacified. I have met Shukla also and Bharat, and both are settled now.”
Asked if anything is being done to ensure that cross-voting doesn’t take place, Sood said, “All party councillors are united. Differences take place in a family but family remains one. All 20 votes of BJP will be polled in favour of BJP candidate itself.”
On January 7 in-charge of Chandigarh and Punjab affairs Dushyant Gautam will be coming to Chandigarh to ensure solidarity among the councillors. Gautam will speak to every councillor and ensure that no vote is crossed.
On Monday, revolt had erupted in the city unit of BJP when councillor Shukla turned rebel minutes after party councillor Ravi Kant Sharma was declared candidate for the post of mayor and filed nomination independently for the coveted post.
Sharma is the outgoing Senior Deputy Mayor. The BJP has chosen Mahesh Inder Sidhu for Senior Deputy Mayor and Farmila for the post of Deputy Mayor.
After filing nomination independently, Shukla had said that she is not meant just to gather crowds in the BJP rallies.
Shukla had said that she was asking only for the post of Senior Deputy Mayor or Deputy Mayor and those people were picked up for the post who have always gone out against the party openly.
This is not the first time that revolt in BJP has come to the fore after mayoral candidate has been announced. In 2019, when the party declared Rajesh Kalia as mayoral candidate, the BJP’s Satish Kainth filed nomination independently.
A mayor holds a one-year term in Chandigarh. A mayor is elected from amongst the elected representatives in the General House. To become a mayor, a candidate needs 14 votes out of 27. The nine nominated councillors do not have voting rights. One vote is that of MP who is the ex-officio member of the House. Of the 26 elected councillors, the BJP has a majority in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation with 20 councillors. There are five Congress councillors while one is from the SAD, which is in an alliance with the BJP.
This time, the mayor’s seat is reserved for general category.
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