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Chandigarh: BJP wins Senior Deputy Mayor, Deputy Mayor posts in big jolt to I.N.D.I.A bloc

In the 35-member municipal House, the BJP has 17 councillors. The number of BJP's strength increased from 14 to 17 after three AAP councillors switched over to it on February 19.

Anurag Roushan Edited By: Anurag Roushan @Candid_Tilaiyan Chandigarh Updated on: March 04, 2024 13:27 IST
Chandigarh: BJP wins Senior Deputy Mayor, Deputy Mayor posts in big jolt to I.N.D.I.A bloc
Image Source : INDIA TV Bharatiya Janata Party candidates Kuljeet Singh Sandhu (Senior Deputy Mayor) and Rajendra Sharma (Deputy Mayor).

In a major boost to the Bharatiya Janata Party ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, its candidates won the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor in Chandigarh civic body polls on Monday. BJP candidate Kuljeet Singh Sandhu won the election of Senior Deputy Mayor of Chandigarh. Out of a total 36 votes polled, the saffron party got 19 votes and Congress+AAP got 16 votes. Meanwhile, one vote was declared invalid.

Meanwhile, BJP candidate Rajendra Sharma won the post of Deputy Mayor, defeating Congress' Nirmala Devi. Out of a total 36 votes, Sharma got 19 votes, while Devi had to settle with 17 votes. Monday's election results are being termed as a major jolt for the I.N.D.I.A bloc ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Why were reelections necessitated? 

Reelections for the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation were held on Monday. Earlier on February 20, the Supreme Court had overturned the January 30 results of the Chandigarh mayoral poll in which the BJP candidate had emerged as an unlikely winner, and declared defeated AAP-Congress alliance candidate Kuldeep Kumar as the city's new mayor.

The process for election for the two posts was conducted by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) councillor Kumar who recently assumed the charge of Chandigarh mayor. 

Tempering allegations in Jan 30 polls

In the January 30 poll, BJP's Manoj Sonkar secured victory over Kumar to claim the mayorship. Allegations of ballot tampering prompted AAP and Congress councillors to boycott the elections for senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor positions, resulting in BJP's Kuljit Sandhu and Rajinder Sharma winning.

For the Monday elections, Congress councillors Gurpreet Singh Gabi and Nirmala Devi were the candidates for the posts of senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor, respectively. The BJP has again fielded Sandhu and Sharma.

Role of Mayor

Kumar recently assumed the mayor's duties at the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation following a Supreme Court ruling declaring him the civic body chief. The mayor oversees the elections for senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor positions.

Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher, who is a BJP member, also has voting rights as an ex-officio member of the corporation. The AAP has 10 members while the Congress has seven. The Shiromani Akali Dal has one councillor.

The Congress and the AAP are fighting the polls in alliance. The court had also ordered the prosecution of the returning officer for the poll, Anil Masih, a BJP leader, for his "misdemeanour", after finding serious faults in the conduct of the January 30 election.

(With PTI inputs)

ALSO READ: BJP's Bansuri Swaraj hits back at AAP after Atishi targets her over Chandigarh mayor poll row

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