The election to the Chandigarh mayor’s post will be held on January 8. Deputy commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi announced the date, ignoring the plea of incumbent mayor Poonam Sharma to conduct the elections on January 1.
The elections will be held for the posts of mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor. Nominated councillor Babu Lal has been appointed as the observer for elections.
“The date has been extended just to oblig e member of Parliament Kirron Kher as she can’t skip the lavish parties she will be attending around the new year. Last time, the election was held on January 6. They should have scheduled it for either January 2 or 6,” she said.
On the other hand, Chandigarh BJP chief Sanjay Tandon said, “Holding mayoral elections on January 1 is being discussed for long. It’s an administrative decision. How does the difference of a week matter? It’s a non-issue.”
Both the Cong ress and BJP are yet to declare their candidates. Sources say the candidates can be declared by January 2.
From the Cong ress, the frontrunner for the mayor’s post is Mukesh Bassi. Darshan Garg is likely to be fielded for the senior deputy mayor’s post, and Gurbax Rawat for the deputy mayor’s.
On other hand, the BJP has three contenders for the mayor’s post — Arun Sood, Davesh Moudgil and Saurabh Joshi and Sood is being tipped as the fron-runner. Satish Kainth is the likely candidate for the senior deputy mayor’s post and Hardeep Singh for the deputy mayor’s.
The Congress, which has been winning the mayoral post for the past eight years in a row, will have a tough time this time as three of its councillors have joined the BJP. The party is now left with just eight councillors.
On the other hand, BJP has 16 votes, including that of MP Kirron Kher, who is the ex-officio member of the House. They just require only three more votes to bag the top post.
In the fifth year of the House, the coveted seat is open for the general category this time.