The stage is set for an even contest in the high-stake mayoral polls on Friday with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) going all out to capture the coveted posts.
In a desperate attempt to see party candidates win the elections, Union health minister Jagat Prakash Nadda, along with party’s local unit chief Sanjay Tandon, visited the house of nominated councillor MP Kohli in Sector 28 on Wednesday where he met four more nominated councillors — Anoop Sunny Gill, Babu Lal, Maj DS Sandhu (retd) and Surinder Bagga.
Later, they also met MP Kirron Kher. Sources said the nominated councillors are also expected to visit Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar at his residence along with Sanjay Tandon on Thursday for a tea party.
As the nine nominated councillors hold the key to the winning prospects of candidates, the BJP is not leaving any stone unturned to woo them. Party’s top leaders, both from the Centre and Punjab, are making rounds of nominated councillors’ houses. This is perhaps for the first time that the BJP has roped in senior leaders for the mayoral elections.
Party sources say stakes are high for the BJP this time as city BJP chief Sanjay Tandon wants his term to end on a winning note. Though the party has a majority in the municipal corporation House, it has not seen its candidate win the mayoral poll. Even last year, the BJP candidate lost the elections despite the party having 15 councillors and vote of a BJP member of Parliament. The Congress, however, managed victory with just nine councillors in the 36-member House. Cross-voting and lack of support from nominated councillors has been keeping BJP away from the mayor’s post.
Taking no chances, the BJP is working on both the issues this year. For the past one month, BJP senior leaders have been motivating party councillors to remain united and refrain from cross-voting.
On Tuesday Punjab BJP chief Kamal Sharma, political adviser to the Punjab chief minister Tikshan Sud and Punjab minister for local bodies Anil Joshi met nominated councillors to muster support for party candidates.
Unsure of its own councillors, the BJP is relying on nominated councillors. Even though a section of nominated councillors are said to have close allegiance with the Congress, still the BJP is leaving no stone unturned to woo them.