Delimitation forces former Mohali councillors to field their wives
With 50% reservation for women in the municipal corporation (MC) elections scheduled for February 14, at least 15 former Mohali councillors and local leaders have fielded their wives or women kin. In the last elections, the reservation for women was 33%.
Out of 50 wards, 25 seats are reserved for women. Former councillors are aggressively campaigning for their wives and even holding public meetings on their behalf. Though their wives are accompanying them, they are the ones leading from the front. In total, 260 candidates are in the fray of whom 110 are women.
Former Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) councillor Parvinder Singh Sohana, whose wife Harjinder Kaur is now contesting under the banner of Azad group from ward number 33, said, “I am guiding her, and telling people that we both will work for them and she will represent them in the MC House.”
Another former SAD councillor, Gurmeet Singh Walia, whose wife Dilpreet Kaur Walia is contesting from ward number 23 under the banner of Azad group, said, “We had no choice due to the reservation. It was a complete dictatorship on the part of the Congress to change our wards and reserve them.”
Gurcharan Singh Bhamra, senior vice-president of the Congress in Mohali, has fielded his daughter-in-law Harshpreet Kaur Bhamra from ward number 21.
Two couples in the fray
There are two couples in the fray as well, which has made the elections more interesting.
Congress leader and former senior deputy mayor Rishav Jain (ward number 20) and his wife Raj Rani Jain (ward number 19) are again trying their luck. Former SAD councillor Harmanpreet Singh Prince is contesting from ward number 2, and has fielded his wife Inderpreet Kaur Prince from ward number 6.
“We both have worked for the development of our respective wards in the past several years and will again win with a huge margin,” Rishav Jain said.
Mohali (Urban) has 2.36 lakh voters, of whom around 25,000 belong to the scheduled castes (SC) category. Seven seats have been reserved for SC and Backward Class candidates. Of these, two are reserved for women. There are 43 general category seats, of which 23 (all odd-numbered from 1 to 47) are reserved for women. The five-year term of the previous House ended on April 26 last year.