Finally, the process to fill the mayor's post has started, which had fallen vacant after Jaspal Pardhan resigned following registration of a murder case against him in connection with the death of his daughter-in-law.
Since the Patiala Municipal Corporation, as per Punjab Municipal
Corporation Act, was bound to fill the post within one month, the civic body on Friday wrote to divisional commissioner to start the process of conducting fresh election for mayor's post before March 27-exactly 30 days after the resignation by Pardhan.
In the letter, MC commissioner Gurlavleen Sidhu has highlighted the compulsion of the civic body to elect the new mayor, citing section 45 of the Act. Sidhu confirmed to HT having sent the letter to the divisional commissioner.
It may be mentioned that the elections to the post of mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor are conducted in presence of the divisional commissioner, who chairs the meeting of the councillors.
Now, the divisional commissioner is expected to forward this letter to the principal secretary (local bodies) for the necessary action.
Meanwhile, hectic lobbying to garb the post of mayor with many leaders showing interest in the new assignment.
Notably, it is learnt senior deputy mayor Jagdish Rai Chaudhary, (acting mayor) is not able to tackle the crucial issues like levying of property tax and running the corporation business smoothly and the civic body was functioning as a leaderless body.
Sources in the SAD said that the party chief and deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal has to take the final call over the issue and he may announce the new mayor once the assembly session closes.
Observers feel that it is going to be tough call for the SAD president to choose the new mayor.