National

Chandigarh Mayor Poll: BJP Wins First Face-Off With INDIA Bloc After Nitish's Switch

BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar won the post of mayor, defeating AAP's Kuldeep Kumar.

Advertisement

PTI
Representational Image Photo: PTI
info_icon

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has won the Chandigarh mayor election, in which it was in a faceoff with the opposition bloc INDIA. It was the first battle between INDIA bloc and the BJP since the recent switch by JD(U) supreme and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar from to the NDA fold.

BJP was contesting against an alliance of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress. BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar won the post of mayor, defeating AAP's Kuldeep Kumar.

Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher, who has voting rights as an ex-officio member of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, was the first to cast vote. She voted around 11:15 am at the building of the civic body.

Advertisement

Initially, voting for the post of mayor is taking place, and after counting of votes, the newly elected mayor will hold the elections to the posts of senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor.

Chandigarh Deputy Commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh, who is the prescribed authority for the elections, was present during the poll process, which was video-graphed.

Before the start of polling, the municipal corporation's joint commissioner gave a demonstration regarding the process and guidelines to be followed.

Anticipating the possibility of unrest, security arrangements were beefed up by the authorities. Around 800 police personnel and additional forces from the paramilitary were deployed to maintain law and order. A three-layer barricade has been put up to secure the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. 

Advertisement

In the 35-member Municipal Corporation House, the AAP and Congress alliance holds a combined total of 20 votes, while BJP holds 15 votes, which includes 14 councilors and the additional vote of MP Kirron Kher. 

January 18 election postponed

The mayoral election, which was actually scheduled for January 18, was earlier postponed to February 6 by the Chandigarh administration owing to the illness of the presiding officer Anil Masih.

On January 24, the Punjab and Haryana High Court directed the Chandigarh administration to conduct the mayoral polls today and termed the earlier postponement "unreasonable, unjustified, and arbitrary." 

The decision to defer the election had led to strong protests from Congress and AAP councilors. However, Mr Masih, despite apparent health issues, was reportedly reappointed as the presiding authority. 

Candidates nominated by AAP-Congress and BJP

Seeking to break the BJP’s eight-year rule, the AAP-Congress alliance has nominated AAP’s Kuldeep Kumar for the mayoral post, while BJP fielded Manoj Sonkar. Congress has reportedly fielded candidates for senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor.

The senior deputy mayor post is seeing Kuljeet Sandhu of the BJP facing off against Congress's Gurpreet Singh Gabi, while the deputy mayor position is contested between BJP's Rajinder Sharma and Congress's Nirmala Devi.

(with PTI inputs)

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement