With the SAD-BJP combine winning the house, the race for the post of mayor has gathered steam. Winning candidates from the BJP Ravi Mahindru, Sunil Jyoti, Manjinder Singh Chatha and Rama Gopal Gupta have emerged as front-runners.
Councillor Ravi Mahindru has been re-elected. He is a close confidant of local MLA Manoranjan Kalia. In 2007 too, he was a front-runner for the post of mayor, but lost out to Rakesh Rathour. Sources said a section of Mahindru supporters had already started lobbying for the post, with the blessings of Kalia.
Sunil Jyoti, who has won his seat for the second consecutive time, is a strong contender for the plum post as he has the 'blessings' of MLA KD Bhandari. With his clean image and close association with Bhandari, Jyoti also enjoys the support of mayor Rakesh Rathour.
Winning his ward third time in a row, Manjinder Singh Chatha, is the only BJP candidate to have won his seat for the third time. Ram Gopal Gupta, is also a strong contender for the post of mayor.
Wide open in Amritsar
Amritsar: With mayor Shwait Malik out of the race, after losing the municipal corporation polls, the race for this post is wide open.
However, considering the fact that whenever the SAD-BJP has come to power in Amritsar, the mayor has always been from the BJP, the frontrunners include senior-most leader Bakshi Ram Arora, former chairman of the Amritsar Improvement Trust; Rajesh Honey and Sukhminder Pintu.
Kohli likely to be mayor again
Patiala: The clean sweep by the ruling alliance in the civic body polls means the race for the post of mayor would be a party affair for the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD). As per their coalition arrangement, the dominant partner SAD has a right to choose its mayor in Patiala.
Mayor Ajitpal Singh Kohli and the third-time councillor Jaspal Singh Pardhan are the main contenders. The first-timers like Harinderpal Singh Tohra and realtor Harpal Juneja are also being counted among the outside contenders. Harinderpal is from the powerful Tohra clan.