BJP makes last-ditch effort to corner Cong as city set to get a new mayor

  • Monica Sharma, HindustanTimes, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jan 08, 2016 11:19 IST

As BJP’s Arun Sood and Congress’ Mukesh Bassi slug it out for the mayor’s post on Friday, the BJP on Thursday asked its councillors to prove their loyalty while casting their votes.

To check cross-voting, sources said, the party has instructed its councillors to show proof that they voted for party candidates. Party affairs in-charge Prabhat Jha held one-on-one meetings with BJP councillors and warned them against crossvoting. Jha will also be sitting in the MC House during polling to keep a vigil on party councillors.

Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move, councillors of the BJP-SAD combine on Thursday met Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal and his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar to seek their blessings. While the alliance councillors, led by Chandigarh BJP chief Sanjay Tandon and in-charge of party affairs in Chandigarh Prabhat Jha, met Badal in afternoon, they called on Khattar in the evening. Of the nine nominated councillors, eight accompanied the BJP councillors to Khattar’s house.

Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) convener Hafiz-Anwar-ul-Haq claimed that he got a call from Badal to ensure that two BSP councillors vote for the BJP-SAD alliance.

On Wednesday, the Union health minister JP Nadda also met nominated councillors and on Tuesday, Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma and the political adviser to the Punjab chief minister Tikshan Sud and Punjab minister for local bodies, medical education and research Anil Joshi met nominated councillors to muster support for their candidates.

The BJP is going overboard to win the mayoral polls with senior party leaders leaving no stone unturned to win over nominated councillors. Despite being in majority, the BJP had failed to win the mayoral polls due to infighting and lack of support from nominated councillors.

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