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Gurgaon Mayoral elections today amid tussle within BJP ranks

Differences within the party are unlikely to affect Friday’s election for the three positions, all of which are expected to be filled by BJP councillors. The party enjoys the support of more than two-third councillors in the House.

gurgaon Updated: Nov 02, 2017 23:10 IST
Kartik Kumar
Kartik Kumar
Hindustan Times
MCG elections,BJP Gurgaon,Gurgaon news
Municipal councillors will vote on Friday to choose the mayor, senior deputy mayor, and deputy mayor of Gurgaon after 17 months. (Sanjeev Verma/HT File Photo)

Councillors will choose Gurgaon’s mayor, senior deputy mayor, and deputy mayor on Friday after 17 months.

Even as senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders fight over their pick of candidates for the post of mayor and her deputies, BJP state president Subhash Barala held a meeting on Thursday evening to ensure unanimous voting today.

Differences within the party are unlikely to affect Friday’s election for the three positions, all of which are expected to be filled by BJP councillors. The BJP enjoys the support of more than two-third councillors in the House.

In the September 24 elections to the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG), BJP won 14 of the 35 seats up for grabs. However, it later garnered support from 12 of the 20 independent councillors and added them to the party’s ranks.

In the 2011 elections, Congress won the three seats unopposed as nine councillors from INLD and BJP had boycotted the mayoral elections. Now, with the Congress not contesting the 2017 elections and only one INLD councillor in the House, a boycott may be inconsequential to the final outcome.

Among the front runners for the top post are Madhu Azad and Sheetal Bagri; for this term, the post of the mayor has been reserved for a woman candidate from the Scheduled Caste (SC).

According to sources in the BJP, Azad has the support of party members; they see her as a strong leader who has risen through the ranks, strengthening her position as a candidate from the party. Azad is the councillor of Ward 7.

Sheetal Bagri, the councillor from Ward 10, enjoys support from a faction within the party. She is viewed as a rebel by many since she contested as an independent candidate after being ousted from the party prior to the elections.

It is likely that Sunita Yadav, councillor from Ward 33, will be elected as the senior deputy mayor as BJP wants to elect a member from the Yadav community to the post. A councillor from the Bania (trading) community may be elected as the deputy mayor.

A meeting to administer the oath to all councillors will take place at John Hall in Civil Lines at 11am and the mayor and her deputies will also be elected, D Suresh, divisional commissioner announced on Tuesday.

“Residents look up to the mayor with hope that she will voice the citizens’ concerns to the MCG officials for pushing projects or completing tasks that have been neglected. While residents don’t vote in the (mayoral) elections, I look forward to the final result,” Civil Lines resident Anshul Saxena said.

The first and the only MCG election, so far, was held in May 2011, three years after the inception of the municipality. The second MCG polls were delayed by more than 16 months, and finally conducted this year.

First Published: Nov 02, 2017 23:09 IST