In a major jolt to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and its ally Jannayak Janata Party (JJP) -- Shakti Rani Sharma, of the Haryana Jan Chetna Party (HJP), has won the mayoral seat at Ambala in the municipal corporation elections in the state.
Shakti Rani Sharma is the wife of former Union Minister Venod Sharma and the mother of the notorious Siddharth Vashisht (better known as Manu Sharma), convict in the infamous Jessica Lal murder case.
Manu Sharma, one of several high-profile criminals brought to trial in India through media activism, was convicted in 2006 to serving life imprisonment for the 1999 murder of Jessica Lal, but was later released in June 2020, 14 years into the sentence, for good conduct during the jail time.
Shakti Rani Sharma is also the mother to media baron Kartikeya Sharma, the managing director of ITV Network, which runs India News, NewsX, and The Sunday Guardian.
All in all, it can be said that the Sharma family is quite influential in their respective socio-political spheres.
Shakti Rani Sharma defeated her opponent, the BJP-JJP's candidate Vandana Sharma, by 8,084 votes, to win the post of mayor of the Ambala municipal corporation.
Ex-Union Minister Venod Sharma reportedly arrived at the counting centre after his wife's victory and said that the indomitable win against the BJP-JJP alliance was only possible due to the work put in by the HJP party workers and the support of the people of Ambala.
List of poll winners at the Ambala Municipal Corporation:
Ward 1 - Haryana Jan Chetna Party - Jasbir Singh (Win)
Ward 2 - Haryana Jan Chetna Party - Fakir Chand (Win)
Ward 3 - BJP - Manish Anand - (Win)
Ward 4 - Haryana Democratic Front - Tony Choudhary (Win)
Ward 5 - Congress - Rajesh Mehta (Win)
Ward 6 - BJP - Archana Chibber (Win)
Ward 7 - BJP - Monika Mal (Win)
Ward 8 - BJP - Meena Dhingra (Win)
Ward 9 - Congress - Megha Goyal (Win)
Ward 10 - Congress - Mithun Verma (Win)