Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) on Wednesday banked on experience and chose a senior face of the party, Bakshi Ram Arora as the seventh mayor of the holy city.
Arora (70) has strong backing of the RSS and senior party leadership for the coveted position. Almost, the entire BJP and SAD councillors present in the 65 member house proposed his name.
Alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), which tops the house with 25 seats also decided to go with experience as it decided on the name of Avtar Singh Truckanwala as senior deputy mayor and Avinash Jolly as deputy mayor.
Arora's selection clearly means that BJP wanted an experienced person as a mayor of Amritsar. Not only this would help the party to bring an agreement within the BJP councillors but also it will help the in decision making especially when alliance partner SAD dominates the house.
Others in the race two-time councillor Rajesh Honey and Sukhminder Pintoo did have strong backing of influential leaders of the party but when it came to experience and seniority, they were far behind Arora.
Honey had the backing of MP Navjot Singh Sidhu whereas Pintoo was backed by Punjab cabinet minister Anil Joshi.
As the race was on since long, things were almost clear at dinner hosted by SAD cabinet minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia on Tuesday night for all the councillors of SAD and BJP.
Interestingly, it was the chief parliamentary secretary Inderbir Bolaria of SAD who proposed the name of Bakshi Ram Arora and was seconded by cabinet minister Anil Joshi of BJP. For the post of senior deputy mayor, the name was proposed by a BJP leader and was seconded by a SAD leader.
With the top leadership of SAD and BJP present in the house for the mayor poll and oath ceremony of newly elected councilors, all eyes were on cabinet minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia and MP Navjot Sidhu.
Earlier, all the newly chosen 65 councillors were administered oath by divisional commissioner SR Ladhar.
The house wore the look of a political rally as soon as Arora's name was announced and sloganeering started inside the house.
SAD MP Dr Rattan Singh Ajnala, BJP MP Navjot Singh Sidhu, cabinet minister Bikramjit Singh Majithia, cabinet minister Anil Joshi, BJP State chief Ashwani Sharma, BJP general secretary Kamal Sharma and other senior leaders were also present on the occasion.