Chandigarh Mayoral Elections Postponed To February 6, AAP-Congress Protest Allege BJP Misusing Government Apparatus

Chandigarh Mayoral Elections Postponed To February 6, AAP-Congress Protest Allege BJP Misusing Government Apparatus

The date of the Chandigarh mayoral elections, which were scheduled to be held on Thursday, were pushed back citing "ill health" of the designated presiding officer

Rajesh MoudgilUpdated: Thursday, January 18, 2024, 09:59 PM IST
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Chandigarh Mayoral Elections Postponed | X

Chandigarh: The mayoral polls for the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation scheduled here for Thursday, were deferred to February 6 amid high drama involving the main contenders Aam Aadmi Party (AAP)-Congress alliance and the rival BJP.

The situation had got surcharged around 10 am when the councillors of the AAP-Congress combine – who apparently had the majority in the wake of the alliance - reached the municipal corporation office in Sector 17 here but were told that the election had been postponed till further orders as the election presiding officer had reported 'sick’.

This evoked sharp reaction from the alliance councillors who termed it to be a BJP’s ploy. Led by the AAP MP Raghav Chadha, the AAP, soon after, moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the development where the next hearing in the case was scheduled for January 23.

Meanwhile, the BJP councillors who had also reached the MC office, rebuked charges alleging that Congress-AAP alliance was behind the postponement as it was afraid of cross-voting.

However, the Union Territory deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh said in a statement later in the day that the polls would be held on February 6 for which Anil Masih would preside over the meeting to elect the Mayor, adhering to the established norms.

It may be recalled that the Congress-AAP alliance hopes to bag all the three top posts – mayor, senior deputy mayor and the deputy mayor. As per the tie-up, the AAP would contest for the mayor’s seat while the Congress would fight for the post of senior deputy mayor and the deputy mayor.

In the House of 35 members, the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation has 14 BJP councillors and an ex-officio member MP Kirron Kher who also has voting rights, while the AAP has 13 councillors and the Congress, seven, there is one Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) councillor. The alliance, thus, hopes to oust the BJP in the said polls while the BJP expects cross-voting.

The said arrangement between the Congress and AAP holds significance as the Congress had abstained from voting in 2022 and 2023 which led to the BJP’s win in the mayoral polls here and it is for the first time the two - constituents of the INDIA bloc – have joined hands for the said polls while the talks are on for over the seat sharing for the upcoming general elections.

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