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Mayoral election today

punjab Updated: Sep 17, 2012 11:23 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva
Ravinder Vasudeva
Hindustan Times
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Monday, the day fixed by the government to conduct the mayoral elections, besides deciding the future mayor of the erstwhile royal city Patiala will also determine the political fate of many leaders, mainly Kohli and Bajaj families.

The two families have remained at the helm of affairs in Akali politics in the city for the past three decades.

This time too, the third generation leaders of both these families - Ajit Pal Singh Kohli, present incumbent mayor, and Amaninder Bajaj, second-time councillor - are desperate to become the mayor to show their predominance in the city.

Ajit Pal, who is keen to strengthen his political career by winning for the second time, represents the Kohli family. His father Surjeet Singh Kohli and his grandfather Sarbara Singh Kohli had remained ministers in the state cabinet.

While from Bajajs, Amaninder's father Indermohan Singh Bajaj and his grandfather, late Manmohan Singh Bajaj, had remained the chairman of the Patiala Improvement Trust.

There is a decade-old rivalry between these two families, with Kohlis always dominating the Bajajs in politics, although the latter are considered close to chief minister Parkash Singh Badal.

Both the families want the mayor's post this time to keep the legacy of their forefathers in the forefront in the Royal City politics.

The day will also decide the fate of third mayoral candidate Jaspal Pardhan, whose political career has been witnessing a downfall for the past 20 years.

Counted among one of the senior local SAD leaders, Pardhan, who was also in race for the mayoral post last time, has failed to establish his political career till now.

If he fails this time, the road to politics will almost close for Pardhan, who is set to hand over his political legacy to his son Preetinder Singh, who is currently president of the Youth Akali Dal Patiala, urban.

Harinderpal Singh Tohra, the third generation leader of the Tohra family and grandson of late Akali stalwart Gurcharan Singh Tohra, is also eyeing the mayor's post. Monday will decide whether he will carry forward the Tohra legacy or not.

It is a win-win situation for the first-time councillor and prominent Hindu face, Harpal Juneja, who has entered into politics without having any political ground.

Juneja, a close associate of Youth Akali Dal chief Bikramjeet Singh Majithia, has nothing to lose even if he fails to get the coveted post, as it's just a start of his political career.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that the ruling Badals have made up their mind to who will be the first citizen of Patiala. However, the decision in this regard would be conveyed to the councillors in the meeting scheduled to start at 11am in the civic body office.

Divisional commissioner, Patiala, AS Pannu in the first session of the meeting would administer the oath to the newly elected councillors. Thereafter, as per the Civic Body Act, elections for the mayor, senior deputy mayor and the deputy mayor would be conducted in the second session.