In the run-up to electing the mayor for the Municipal Corporation of Gurgaon (MCG), the newly-elected 25 independent councillors have been invited by the Congress to meet Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda at his house in the Capital on Thursday.
However, councillors who won on tickets of BJP and Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), numbering 10, are not included in the 'invitation'.
The MCG elections held on May 15 declared 35 new councillors. The Congress preferred not to field its candidates on its party’s name and symbol. The meeting has been fixed at 9.00am at 9, Pant Marg, New Delhi.
Congress leaders mediating the meeting between Hooda and independent candidates clarified that it has nothing to do with the election of the mayor. Some of independent councillors have second thoughts about meeting Hooda.
"It is just an introductory meeting of the newly-elected candidates. It is too early to talk about the mayor elections as the Haryana government is yet to issue a notification on this," said senior Congress leader Rao Dharampal.
"The invitation has been extended to independent candidates by Gurgaon district president of Congress," said Dharampal.
GL Sharma, Congress district president, said the coordination committee comprising MLAs and MP of Gurgaon parliamentary constituency will accompany independent candidates to meet Hooda.
"We have extended the meeting offer to all 25 independents, but it is still to be seen as to how many of them come. Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh is going abroad, so I will represent him," said Sharma.
Gurgaon Citizen Council (GCC), whose three candidates Rama Rani Rathee, Mahesh Dayma and Ashok Kumar won the elections, is yet to decide whether to go.
"We are going to meet GCC members and then decide on the invitation," said R S Rathee, president, GCC.
Joint Action Forum of RWAs (Jafra), which claims to have four independent candidates, is also undecided on the invitation. "Ideally, the Haryana CM does have the right to call the independent councillors. It amounts to pressuring them to get to the Congress’ side," said Col (retd.) Ratan Singh, chairman of Jafra.
About 2.78 lakh residents participated in the elections across the city.
State election commissioner Dharam Vir had said the decision to announce a date for the mayor election would formally come from the office of the MCG. "A date would be notified soon. Until then we have to wait," he said.