The decision on a date for the elections to the mayor of the municipal corporation will finally be taken by the deputy commissioner, as UT adviser KK Sharma has asked the DC, also the presiding officer for the mayoral polls, to apply his mind once again.
More than a month ago, councillors had demanded that these elections, for the post of the city mayor, senior deputy mayor and the deputy mayor, should be pre-poned from January 1 to December 23.
The proposal was initially forwarded to the UT home secretary Anil Kumar, who opined that holding the elections with the gap of more than a week is not advisable and the date of the first meeting of the municipal corporation House must remain January 1.
On his part, deputy commissioner Mohammed Shayin said, “We are reviewing the demand of the councillors and a decision will be taken in a day or two.”
The law applicable
The municipal corporation of Chandigarh is governed by the Punjab Municipal Corporation (extended to Chandigarh) Act, and as per the act the first municipal corporation meeting of the year should have mayoral elections.
Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher had shot a letter to the UT adviser to hold mayoral elections before January 1. On the other hand, Congress councillors want the elections to be postponed. The elections have been held on January 1 for the past 15 years.
In her letter, Kher stated that the councillors, contesting for the post of mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor, campaign for one week ahead of the elections. This is the time when residents celebrate Christmas and the New Year.
Kher had stated that in the first five years of the corporation’s elections, the date was December 23. She had added that majority of the councilors had requested that elections should be held in December, adding that the dates between 15 and 20 suited them.
Meanwhile, Congress councillors also in favour of changing the date of elections from January 1, but they actually want postponement, so that the term of the mayor is not curtailed.
The background to the demand
Of 34 councillors in the House, 16 elected and one nominated councillor had given a representation to the UT deputy commissioner Mohammed Shayin to prepone the elections from January 1 to December and the BJP councillors also met the DC today. They added that that as per the past practice in the first general house of the corporation from 1996 to 2001, the elections should be held in December so that they can take benefit of winter vacations.