October 20, 2021 3:09:55 am
The draw of lots on Tuesday for the reservation of wards for scheduled castes (SC) candidates and women in the Chandigarh municipal corporation elections came as a blow to several sitting councillors– as they lost their ward to either of the reserved quota.
In the rejig, most of the wards which were earlier reserved for women representatives have now turned into unreserved wards. Meanwhile, following the fresh delimitation and inclusion of more villages, there are 35 wards as compared to 26 earlier.
Those whose wards have now been reserved for women are Congress councillor Devinder Singh Babla and BJP councilors Bharat Kumar, Jagtar Singh Jagga, Rajesh Gupta, Vinod Aggarwal and Shakti Devshali. BJP’s Rajesh Kalia also lost his ward, as it has been reserved for the SC women.
The municipal corporation elections will be held for 35 wards in December. Among the 35 wards, seven are reserved for SC candidates — 7, 16, 19, 24, 26, 28 and 31 — including three for SC women (16, 19, 28). Wards reserved for women (general category) as per draw of lots are 1, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 18, 22, 23. The unreserved wards are 2, 3, 8, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 20,21, 25, 27, 29, 30, 32, 33, 34 and 35.
The draw was held at 10.30 am in the conference hall of the UT State Guest House, Sector 6, Chandigarh by the state election department. Due to Covid-19 protocols, only two people from each political party attended the proceedings.
Several wards earlier reserved for women now unreserved
Several sitting women councillors too are likely to sail a rough sea as their wards have now become unreserved. Sectors 12, 14, 15 and Khuda Lahora that were being represented by BJP woman councillor- Raj Bala Malik, will now be an unreserved ward. Similarly, area from where BJP’s Sunita Dhawan contested- comprising Sectors 23, 24 and 36, will be a general ward.
Ward that comprise Dadumajra, with BJP’s Farmila representing it, has now been reserved for the SC category from being reserved for only SC women earlier. Similarly, BJP’s Rajesh Kalia’s ward that comprises Maloya belt has also been reserved for the SC category women. Congress councillor Gurbax Rawat’s ward has now turned into an unreserved ward.
The areas from where BJP’s Heera Negi and BJP’s Asha Jaswal were elected have also become general wards.
THOSE WHO SECURED THEIR WARDS
It was a stroke of luck for some councillors whose ward’s earlier status remained intact. The ward of Congress’ Sheela Phool Singh- who represents Bhaskar Colony and area- was again reserved for the women from the scheduled castes category.
BJP leader Mahesh Inder Singh Sidhu’s ward which comprises sectors 1 to 10 continues to remain an unreserved or general ward.
Similarly, BJP’s Arun Sood, Ravi Kant Sharma and Davesh Moudgil’s wards too remained unreserved.
ON THE BASIS OF 2011 CENSUS
Timelines for finalising the polling stations have also been issued by the commission to ensure that the elections can be held timely and concluded before December 31, 2021, the date of expiry of the term of the present corporation. A statement issued by the election commission said that the civic body polls are being held on the basis of the profile of 35 wards issued by the Local Government department on December 30, 2020. “The Chandigarh Administration has conveyed that the reservation of wards for scheduled castes has to be done on the basis of Census 2011,” said the statement.
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