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Monday, January 24, 2022

Mayoral fight on: It’s AAP vs BJP, businesswoman vs homemaker

AAP's Anju Katyal to take on BJP’s Sarabjit Kaur; Congress opts out of the race

Written by Hina Rohtaki | Chandigarh |
January 5, 2022 5:53:36 am
The Congress was trying to convey to the BJP that if they fielded Harpreet Babla, they won't let the latter win as rebel Devinder Babla shifted to the other party by ‘abusing’ all the party leaders.

Anju Katyal was declared the Chandigarh mayoral candidate of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) while Sarabjit Kaur was declared the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate. The Congress opted out and did not field any candidate but may come to vote in the mayoral polls.

Anju, wife of a realtor, is a businesswoman. She has been the general manager (operations) of a firm while Sarabjit is the wife of ex-BJP councillor Jagtar Jagga. The BJP didn’t have many women councillors because of which they had to consider Sarabjit as its mayoral candidate. They also chose a Jat Sikh candidate as the Punjab elections are around the corner.

Anju was one of the richest councillors when she had filed nomination. Sarabjit is a housewife. Both are first-timers. This time the seat of mayoral polls is reserved for a woman candidate.

Earlier, the AAP was confused whether to field Anju or Neha Musawat, who is the Dalit face. Fielding Neha may have impacted the Punjab polls, but they chose Anju as the mayoral candidate.

Meanwhile, for the post of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor, the AAP fielded Prem Lata and Ram Chander Yadav, the BJP fielded Dalip Sharma for the post of Senior Deputy Mayor and Anup Gupta for the post of Deputy Mayor respectively.

Earlier during the day, the BJP called all its councillors for a meeting. Though newly joined Harpreet Babla who has come from the Congress was offered the mayorship, she refused in front of the councillors stating that her joining is unconditional.

The Congress was trying to convey to the BJP that if they fielded Harpreet Babla, they won’t let the latter win as rebel Devinder Babla shifted to the other party by ‘abusing’ all the party leaders.

On not becoming the mayor candidate, Harpreet told The Indian Express, “I reiterated before all the councillors too that my joining is unconditional and I didn’t change the party for the mayorship. While serving the Congress for 22 years, both my husband and me never expected or sought any post or designation from Congress, why would we seek anything like that from BJP? I am here to serve the BJP and will do so without seeking anything in return.”

She added, “The worst part is that despite being a national party, Congress ran away from the elections. I remember when there were just four councillors, Congress used to put up a fight. What message are they giving when Punjab elections are here?”

The Congress has taken its councillors to Jaipur fearing poaching and will be back on the night of January 7.

AAP councillors were taken to Delhi on Monday. They all returned on Tuesday morning itself as the last date of nominations was kept January 4 by the Deputy Commissioner.
The mayoral elections are scheduled to take place on January 8 at 11 am which is Saturday.

AAP candidate Anju Katyal defeated BJP’s sitting councillor Heera Negi from ward no. 22. She worked as general manager (operations) in Unnati Developers Private Limited. Anju defeated Heera by 76 votes. Heera had won from this ward in 2011 and was very confident of her win but lost. Anju has done her Bachelor of Arts from S D College, Ambala.

Talking to The Indian Express, Anju said, “I am confident of my win because people have voted us to power since they are fed up with BJP and Congress, and I will live up to their expectations.”
On the fact that people keep saying that she doesn’t have experience, Anju said, “I agree I am a first-timer. I don’t have to do politics for which I need experience. I have to just work and in that I am well experienced. Let me give an example. You see the condition of parks, about 90 per cent of them are in such a bad condition. If that is the experience people are looking in me which previous mayors had then I don’t need such experience. I am here to work and to serve people we don’t need experience but will to work.”

On whether they have been seeking the Congress’s support, she said, “I would just like to tell the Congress that it is BJP that made our city slip to 66th position. If we are at this position, we must work together not to make their mayor. Irrespective of any scenario, we want that those who made this condition of our city shouldn’t be voted to power.”

Her first priority is just getting Chandigarh back on the first position in cleanliness within one year.
Meanwhile, BJP candidate Sarabjit Kaur too is very confident of her win.

Sarabjit is a first-timer. A housewife, she is one of the only two BJP women councillors who won this time. She is the wife of outgoing councillor Jagtar Jagga.

Sarabjit was born in a Jat Sikh family in 1980 in Panchkula. She did her matriculation from a school in Sector 12, Panchkula. Then she did her class XII from government vocational institute. She then passed her second year from Kurukshetra University when she got married in the final year to Jagtar Jagga, who is from Manimajra.

She says her aim is to make Chandigarh the cleanest city of the country along with strengthening and conveying the party’s ideology to every resident of the city.

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