The state government has finally fixed April 2 as the date to elect new mayor of Patiala. The post had fallen vacant following resignation of Jaspal Pardhan, whose name figured in the alleged murder of his 'daughter-in-law', Parampreet Kaur.
Earlier, it was being speculated that the government might wait for the inquiry report of special investigation team (SIT) of Punjab Police, constituted to ascertain the role of mayor in the 'murder' case. With the decision to conduct the mayoral election on April 2, the aspirants have again become active and are leaving no stone unturned to occupy the coveted post.
As per a communication received from the office of the divisional commissioner, the election would be conducted at 11 am on April 2.
“We have dispatched letters to all the councillors to attend the meeting in which the mayor will be elected,” confirmed commissioner of the civic body, Gurlavleen Singh Sidhu.
However, the election will be a mere formality as the name finalised by the SAD high command would occupy the post.
The SAD high command will send its choice of candidate in a sealed envelope through party incharge for Patiala and education minister, Sikander Singh Maluka, who will handover the envelop to one of the senior councillors to announce the name in the meeting.
The new mayor will get to know the high command's choice a few hours before the name is actually made public.
Now, the contest for the new mayor is wide open and chances of Pardhan's return are negligible.
Sources said SAD high command was convinced that Pardhan had no role in 'murder' case of his 'daughter-in-law', but the party decided not to re-instate him to avoid controversy as the case was pending with the Punjab and Haryana high court following Parampreet's father filed a plea seeking a CBI probe into the incident.