BJP's Manoj Sonkar To Step Down As Chandigarh Mayor Ahead Of Next SC Hearing On Election Rigging

BJP's Manoj Sonkar To Step Down As Chandigarh Mayor Ahead Of Next SC Hearing On Election Rigging

According to reports, a gathering of senior BJP officials convened in Delhi on Saturday with the party's central leadership, after which Sonkar was asked to tender his resignation.

Rahul MUpdated: Sunday, February 18, 2024, 05:32 PM IST
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In the latest development concerning the Chandigarh mayoral elections controversy, Mayor Manoj Sonkar from the BJP is expected to step down on Sunday, a day ahead of the scheduled Supreme Court hearing on the issue.

According to reports, a gathering of senior BJP officials convened in Delhi on Saturday with the party's central leadership, after which Sonkar was asked to tender his resignation.

Mayor likely to resign today

A senior BJP leader, speaking anonymously, was quoted by the Indian Express as saying, “The mayor has been asked to resign, and he will resign today (Sunday) evening. Senior party leaders will be present.”

Ahead of the hearing, the Chandigarh BJP also removed Anil Masih, the presiding officer under scrutiny for purportedly tampering with ballot papers, from its minority cell.

Cong, AAP have been crying foul over mayoral polls

Both the Congress and the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have been pressing for Sonkar's removal, claiming irregularities in the mayoral election conducted on January 30. Opposition members alleged that Sonkar secured victory after Masih marked on ballot papers, personally invalidating eight votes from the Congress-AAP coalition.

Masih held the position of general secretary within the minority cell of the Chandigarh BJP. He was scheduled to present himself before the Supreme Court on Monday.

On January 18, the initially scheduled date for the elections, Masih fell ill, resulting in the postponement of the polls to January 30.

Mockery of democracy: SC on Chandigarh mayoral polls

Following their loss, the Congress-AAP coalition petitioned the Punjab and Haryana High Court, requesting the annulment of the outcome and a rerun of the Chandigarh mayoral elections.

The Supreme Court subsequently commented that the events surrounding the Chandigarh mayoral election constituted a "mockery of democracy" and emphasised, “we will not allow democracy to be murdered like this”.

A three-judge panel, led by Chief Justice of India D Y Chandrachud, also summoned the presiding officer to appear on the upcoming hearing scheduled for February 19.

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