Chandigarh AAP mayor’s swearing-in put off at last moment - Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh AAP mayor’s swearing-in put off at last moment

Feb 26, 2024 12:31 PM IST

Though Kuldeep Kumar Dhalor was not available for comment and his phone was switched off, a message circulated by Chandigarh AAP leaders on social media at 8am said, “Due to personal reasons of Dhalor, we have postponed the swearing-in till further orders.”

Hours before Kuldeep Kumar Dhalor was to take oath as the Chandigarh mayor, the Aam Aadmi Party on Monday announced that the event had been postponed indefinitely due to “his personal reasons”.

Chandigarh Aam Aadmi Party councillors lifting mayoral candidate Kuldeep Singh Dhalor while celebrating the Supreme Court verdict that made him the new mayor last week. (HT file photo)
Chandigarh Aam Aadmi Party councillors lifting mayoral candidate Kuldeep Singh Dhalor while celebrating the Supreme Court verdict that made him the new mayor last week. (HT file photo)

Having clinched victory in the Chandigarh mayoral elections after a hard-fought legal battle that went up to the Supreme Court, AAP’s Dhalor was to formally take charge as the mayor at the Municipal Corporation office in Sector 17 at 11.30am on Monday.

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Though Dhalor was not available for comment and his phone was switched off, a message circulated by local AAP leaders on social media at 8am said, “Due to personal reasons of Dhalor, we have postponed the swearing-in till further orders.”

Local AAP leader Prem Garg, a former head of the Chandigarh unit, said Dhalor had a family problem due to which he had to leave Chandigarh on Sunday night.

The development comes a day before the elections of the senior deputy mayor and the deputy mayor.

After three AAP councillors defected to the BJP two days before the Supreme Court verdict on February 20, the saffron party secured an edge in the numbers game in the 35-member MC House.

A party needs 19 votes to win the election, which the BJP has in its kitty with 17 councillors, an ex-officio vote of BJP MP Kirron Kher and the support of the lone Shiromani Akali Dal councillor.

The AAP, on the other hand, is down to 10 councillors, and even the pre-poll alliance with the Congress, which has seven votes, will not help the INDIA bloc reach the magic number of 19. At least two of the three turncoat councillors returning to the AAP is the combine’s only hope for winning the senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor’s posts.

Though the party’s Chandigarh unit was planning to make the new mayor’s swearing-in ceremony a grand event by inviting Delhi chief minister and AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, his Punjab counterpart Bhagwant Mann and senior party leader Raghav Chadha, the top three leaders did not plan to attend the event on Monday.

“The party chief and big leaders have other political commitments, so they are unlikely to join for the swearing-in ceremony. Only Punjab MP and senior AAP leader Sandeep Kumar Pathak would join us,” Chandigarh AAP co-in-charge Dr SS Ahluwalia had said before the mayor called off the event, citing Dhalor’s “personal reasons”.

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