Postponed twice earlier, the presidential election of Sirhind-Fatehgarh Sahib's Municipal Council (MC) was conducted amid high drama on Monday with Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) winning the post.
SAD's Tirlok Singh Bajwa was elected as the MC president while Ashok Dhiman and Rajwinder Kaur Sohi were elected as the senior vice-president (SVP) and the vice-president respectively.
The election had been postponed twice earlier as both sides Congress-BJP and SAD had cast the same number of votes. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), along with the Congress and one vote from an MLA, had 11 votes altogether, while the SAD alone had 11 councillors, leaving the matter undecided on two occasions.
However, on Monday, the election was conducted successfully with BJP councillor Ashok Dhiman voting in favor of SAD's president candidate Tirlok Bajwa, turning the tables with 12 votes in favor of the SAD and 10 votes with the BJP.
As a result, BJP's district president Rakesh Gupta requested high-command to dismiss Ashok Dhiman's party membership for six years.
The newly elected vice-president Rajwinder Kaur Sohi also belongs to the SAD.
Both the BJP and the Congress are displeased with the election results. Congress MLA Kuljeet Singh Nagra said, "The SAD has every prominent post in the city and now they also have the president, which is why the Congress dissatisfied with the election. It would be better if the elected council chief works for everyone's welfare instead of working for the development of a specific class."
"I asked the sub-divisional magistrate (SDM) cum election convener to hold ballot voting, but she refused and chose hand-raising instead, affecting the results,"he added.
Meanwhile, Gupta said, "The SDM only mentioned about the election of the president and the vice-president in a letter. However, the election of the SVP was also held, which is against the law."
To Gupta requesting Dhiman's dismissal from the party, Dhiman, who changed the course of the election, said, "I did not betray the party as the SAD is an allied partner of the BJP. So, I voted for the benefit of both parties."
The newly-elected council chief Tirlok Bajwa said, "My plan is to develop the entire city, working with all the councillors as a team."