The race to be Shimlas mayor officially began on Monday after incumbent and Congress candidate Madhu Sood and the Communist Party of Indias (Marxist) Sanjay Chauhan filed their nominations. The CPMs Tikender Panwar,who is contesting for the deputy mayors post,also filed his nomination papers. Both,Sood and Chauhan,held processions and rallies on Monday.
The BJP candidate for the mayors post S S Minhas – a local surgeon – also reached the town from the UK but will file his nomination papers on Tuesday. It was a pleasant surprise when Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal called and offered me the candidature for the post. I had never though of being in the politics or contesting an election. I feel this a new challenge and will accept it, Minhas said on his return.
The surgeon stressed that he knew the city well and was aware of its problems. There is a lot to do in the historic city and I will come-out some innovative plans to make Shimla the best city of the country. In fact,the government has done a lot. A single decision of banning polythene has been appreciated world over, he said.
Dhumal,when asked on what actually weighed in favour of a non-political candidate,said: He is competent and the best candidate. The party has taken a different line as sometimes a few decisions have to be taken above political considerations for the larger benefit of society. The chief minister also expressed confidence that Minhas will win the polls.