The Punjab and Haryana High Court Wednesday issued a notice of motion to the Punjab government on a petition filed by Mohali Congress councillor, Kuljit Singh Bedi, seeking video recording of elections and appointment of a neutral election observer for the Mohali mayor’s elections. Elections for the posts of mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor will now be held on August 28.
The petition came up for hearing before the division bench comprising Justices Hemant Gupta and Raj Rahul Garg that directed the state government as well as the Mohali divisional commissioner to file a reply before August 24 as to what preparations were being made to conduct safe and transparent elections.
The petitioner has sought directions from the court to allow all municipal councillors to attend a meeting in this regard.
The petitioner has submitted, “The election is to be conducted by the raise of hands and lot of bungling is to take place in recording the actual events of the meeting in order to favour one candidate or the other at the behest of the political masters by the officers conducting the meeting.” It was further said, “Facts itself speak that as there was no majority with the ruling party, they tried every step to see that one of their members was elected as the mayor of the Municipal Corporation, Mohali. The present meeting will be held after a direction is given by this Hon’ble court.”
The first election of the Mohali Municipal Corporation was conducted on February 22. The results were declared on February 26, wherein SAD bagged 17 seats, BJP got six seats, Congress 14, the Azad Group 11, and the Independents got two in the 50-member House.
The petitioner had submitted that the Mohali divisional commissioner had issued a notice on August 13 for conducting the elections on August 14. “The councillors are being allured or being threatened to vote for a particular candidate. Despite there being only 23 seats in favour of the ruling party, the Deputy Chief Minister had said that the mayor of Mohali would be from the ruling party,” the petitioner had submitted.