With the mayoral elections slated for January 1 only about five weeks away, all eyes are on the nominated councillors, whom all parties want to woo to brighten their prospects to bag the coveted seat. Last week, city mayor Poonam Sharma invited nominated councillors for lunch and on Thursday, local member of Parliament Kirron Kher invited them for tea at the UT Guest House.
The nine nominated councillors play a decisive role in electing the mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor. It was because of the support of the nominated councillors that the Congress could elect its mayor last time despite having only eight elected councillors in the House against 16 those of SAD-BJP combine (including the vote of MP Kirron Kher).
With the fifth year of the House to begin in 2016, the seat is open this time. The contest for the top seat this time is being seen as between councillors Arun Sood of the BJP and Mukesh Bassi of Congress.
On Thursday, Kher urged the nominated councillors to vote this time for her party, saying it was in the interest of the city, if the same party ruled at the Centre and the MC House.
The Congress, which has been winning the mayor’s post for eight years in a row, will have a tough time this time as its three councillors have joined the BJP. The party now has 16 votes, including the vote of independent councillor. SAD-BJP combine, on the other hand, requires only three more votes to bag the post of mayor. At least 19 votes are required to bag the mayor’s seat.
In the past four years, nominated councillors have supported the Congress for the mayor’s post, but supported the SAD-BJP candidates for the posts of deputy mayor and senior deputy mayor in the last three years.
In 2012, BSP with two members had contested for the mayor’s post unsuccessfully, but for the past two years, the party had been supporting the Congress for mayor’s post.