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BJP's Manoj Sonkar wins Chandigarh's mayor post, defeats I.N.D.I.A bloc in first direct contest

The BJP has 15 councillors in the 35-member Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, the AAP has 13 councillors and the Congress seven. The Shiromani Akali Dal has one councillor in the House.

Reported By : Puneet Pareenja Edited By : Nivedita Dash
Updated on: January 30, 2024 14:36 IST
Manoj Sonkar
Image Source : INDIA TV Manoj Sonkar

Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Manoj Sonkar on Tuesday won the Chandigarh mayor elections by defeating I.N.D.I.A bloc candidate Kuldeep Singh. The saffron party dealt a serious blow to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress in the Union Territory as they failed the first litmus test. The mayoral polls in Chandigarh began on Tuesday with the BJP pitted against an alliance of the AAP and the Congress for the posts of mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor. The BJP secured 16 votes while the AAP-Congress managed just 12 after 8 votes were declared invalid. The BJP had one vote from Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher, the ex-officio member of the House. Protests broke out after the declaration of the results in the House. 

BJP president JP Nadda congratulated the party's Chandigarh unit. "Congratulations to BJP Chandigarh Unit for winning the Mayor election. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi Ji, UTs have witnessed record development. That the INDI Alliance fought their first electoral battle and still lost to BJP shows that neither their arithmetic is working nor their chemistry."

The polls, which were held following the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court, assumed significance with opposition I.N.D.I.A bloc members Congress and AAP joining hands to contest the elections against the BJP, which has held the mayor's post for the past eight years. As part of the alliance, the AAP contested the mayor's post while the Congress fielded candidates for senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor positions.

The polls were originally scheduled for January 18 but were deferred to February 6 by the Chandigarh administration after the presiding officer fell ill. The administration had at that time also said the polls were postponed after assessing the law-and-order situation.

In its January 24 order, the high court directed the Chandigarh administration to hold the mayoral polls at 10 am on January 30. It also quashed the administration's January 18 order postponing the elections while holding it "unreasonable, unjustified and arbitrary". The high court had also directed that the councillors who come to cast their votes shall not be accompanied by any supporters or security personnel belonging to any other state.

Meanwhile, AAP national convenor Arvind Kejriwal took to X to highlight BJP's 'dishonestly'. "The manner in which dishonesty has been done in broad daylight in the Chandigarh Mayor elections is extremely worrying. If these people can stoop so low in a mayor's election, then they can go to any extent in the country's elections. This is very worrying."




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