Three days before the mayoral polls, hectic lobbying for candidates has began with both Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) trying to impress upon the nominated councillors, who hold the key to the victory.
Since the stakes are too high for the BJP this time, the Central leadership is keeping a close tab on every single development. And now, senior leaders from Punjab have also landed in the city, and are laboriously canvassing for the party candidates.
Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma and the political adviser to Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal, Tikshan Sud, on Tuesday visited a couple of nominated councillors to muster support for the party candidates. So much so that a couple of nominated councillors were also reportedly made to speak to a senior Union minister.
Besides, Central leaders, including Union minister JP Nadda, have also advised the BJP councillors to remain motivated and continuously remain in touch with the nominated councillors. They have been told not to indulge in cross-voting, which has been hampering the party’s victory.
The party this time is leaving no stone unturned to clinch the mayor’s seat. For the past four terms, even after having majority in the 36-member House, the party has failed to make a mark.
Considering the fact that the Chandigarh municipal corporation elections and assembly elections in Punjab are slated to be held this year end and next year, respectively, the mayoral polls becomes even more importance for the BJP, which has not won the top seat since 2000; BJP’s Shanta Hit Abhilashi was elected to the top post in 2000. In 2007, Harjinder Kaur of Shiromani Akali Dal was also elected mayor.
Since this is the last mayoral polls of the present MC, this is a do-or-die situation for the BJP to send a positive message to the senior leadership. The sources say the mayoral polls will also impact the selection of the local unit president, the official announcement of which is scheduled by next week. If the BJP wins the top seat, the group that will lead the party to the victory will definitely have an edge.
Sources say to end infighting, the party this time has accommodated Arun Sood, a close aide of local unit chief Sanjay Tandon, for the mayor’s post, while Davesh Moudgil, who is believed to be close to senior BJP leader Satya Pal Jain, for the senior deputy mayor’s post. In the process, however, many leaders who were expecting tickets have been left unruffled.
CITY BJP CHIEF’S NAME TO BE ANNOUNCED ON JANAURY 11
The Bharatiya Janata Party Chandigarh unit chief ‘s name is expected to be announced after the mayoral polls on January11. The front runners for the post are Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Sewa Bharati Wing general secretary Pardeep Sharma and BJP unit cashier Rajesh Gupta. The names of BJP councillors Satinder Singh, Asha Jaiswal, BJP unit general secretary Chander Shekhar and vice president Raghubir Lal Arora and market committee chairman Ramvir Bhatti are also making rounds.