Chandigarh mayoral polls in limbo as AAP, Congress councillors stay away - Hindustan Times
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Chandigarh mayoral polls in limbo as AAP, Congress councillors stay away

Feb 27, 2024 01:12 PM IST

Aam Aadmi Party councillor Prem Lata submits written request to MC secretary to postpone senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor elections, stating that mayor Kuldeep Kumar Dhalor is in Ludhiana due to his sister’s ill-health

Uncertainty prevailed over the holding of the elections to the posts of senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor of the municipal corporation of Chandigarh on Tuesday with newly appointed mayor and presiding officer Kuldeep Kumar Dhalor failing to turn up to convene the polls.

Chandigarh BJP MP Kirron Kher arriving to attend the municipal corporation House sitting to elect the senior deputy mayor and mayor on Tuesday. She left after waiting for nearly three hours as AAP and Congress councillors stayed away from the proceedings. (Ravi Kumar/HT)
Chandigarh BJP MP Kirron Kher arriving to attend the municipal corporation House sitting to elect the senior deputy mayor and mayor on Tuesday. She left after waiting for nearly three hours as AAP and Congress councillors stayed away from the proceedings. (Ravi Kumar/HT)

The elections were to begin at 10am and all BJP councillors and MP Kirron Kher reached the MC’s assembly hall but no councillor of Congress and Aam Aadmi Party showed up. The three councillors, who recently joined the BJP after leaving AAP, were also not present in the assembly hall.

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Also read: Chandigarh mayor’s swearing-in put off at last minute

Around 9.30 am, AAP councillor Prem Lata submitted a written request to MC secretary Shambhu Rathee to postpone the elections, stating that Dhalor is in Ludhiana due to his sister’s ill-health and could not convene the elections today.

Rathee forwarded the request to Chandigarh deputy commissioner Vinay Pratap Singh for final directions.

Till 1pm, no formal notification for postponement of the polls was released. BJP councillors and MP Kher continued to wait in the assembly hall.

BJP councillor Mahesh Inder Singh Sidhu said, “Mayor Kuldeep Dhalor had attended the Rose Festival as ‘mayor’ and now how can he say he can’t hold elections before taking the charge of the seat. He himself delayed his swearing-in ceremony.”

BJP councillor Saurabh Joshi said, “According to the MC Act, the secretary can be the presiding authority to conduct the elections in situations where the mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor are not present in the hall. We request the secretary to start the elections as early as possible.”

The Congress and AAP councillors are awaiting the decision of the Punjab and Haryana high court, where the hearing is to resume after 2pm.

Dhalor was to take oath as the Chandigarh mayor on Monday, but the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) announced at the eleventh hour that the event had been postponed indefinitely due to “personal reasons”. In the evening, Dhalor said that his sister was unwell, so he had to rush to Ludhiana. “As my sister is unwell, I could not assume charge today. I will not be able to come to the MC House on Tuesday either,” he said.

According to the MC Act, the mayor presides over the meeting for the election of senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor.

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