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  4. Manoj Sonkar resigns as Chandigarh Mayor ahead of SC hearing, 3 AAP councillors join BJP

Manoj Sonkar resigns as Chandigarh Mayor ahead of SC hearing, 3 AAP councillors join BJP

Newly-elected Chandigarh Mayor Manoj Sonkar resigned on Sunday (February 18), a day ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on the mayoral polls matter.

Reported By : Puneet Pareenja Edited By : Ashesh Mallick
Chandigarh
Updated on: February 19, 2024 6:25 IST
BJP’s Manoj Sonkar, Chandigarh, Chandigarh mayor
Image Source : PTI BJP’s Manoj Sonkar

Newly-elected Chandigarh Mayor Manoj Sonkar resigned on Sunday (February 18), a day ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on the mayoral polls matter, Punjab BJP president Jitendra Malhotra said.

The resignation comes at a time when there is a buzz of three opposition MCs joining BJP. Earlier there were reports that Aam Aadmi Party may face a big blow in Chandigarh. Three councillors of AAP may join the BJP. There was intense discussion on the names of Poonam, Neha Musawat and Gurucharan Singh Kala among those who were likely to join the BJP. The trio joined the saffron party today.

India Tv - AAP councillors joined BJP

Image Source : INDIA TVAAP councillors joined BJP

Chandigarh mayor election

There is a continuous political turmoil regarding the Chandigarh Mayor election held on January 30. The AAP and Congress alleged that the BJP tampered with the postal ballots. AAP had approached the Supreme Court regarding the matter of rigging in this election. The hearing of this case is still going on in the top court. The next hearing is going to be held in the Supreme Court regarding the Mayor dispute. BJP wants to strengthen its numbers by including three councillors of Aam Aadmi Party.

It was alleged that eight votes of the Congress-AAP combine were invalidated.

Supreme Court hearing

The Supreme Court on February 5 came down heavily on the Returning Officer of the who held the Chandigarh Mayor elections and said in stringent words that “it is obvious he has defaced the ballot papers”. The top court took a note of the video recording of the elections and termed the Returning Officer’s act as “murder of democracy” stating that the court is “appalled” and the man should be prosecuted. A bench of Chief Justice DY Chandrachud and Justices JB Pardiwala and Manoj Misra expressed annoyance after watching the video of the electoral proceedings and said that, prima facie, the returning officer was “defacing” the ballot papers.

“Is this the way he conducts the elections? This is a mockery of democracy. This is a murder of democracy. We are appalled. This man should be prosecuted. Is this the behaviour of Returning Officer? Why is he looking at the camera like a fugitive and defaces the ballot paper?" Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud said.

AAP moves SC

One of the AAP councillors had moved the top court challenging a Punjab and Haryana High Court order that refused to grant any interim relief to the party seeking fresh mayoral polls in Chandigarh. BJP's Manoj Kumar Sonkar had emerged victorious in the Chandigarh Mayoral Election, defeating AAP-Congress Alliance candidate Kuldeep Singh. AAP had alleged foul play on the part of the Returning Officer.

Sonkar was elected Mayor of Chandigarh on January 30 after he bagged 16 votes against Congress-AAP joint candidate Kuldeep Singh who secured 12 votes. Eight votes were declared invalid which later turned crucial in deciding the outcome of the polls.

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