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Scared of 'poachers', Cong takes them for wild ride

The last 10 were 'fun days' for the 13 councillors who turned the tide on Tuesday.

india Updated: Jun 22, 2011 00:43 IST
Vimal Chander Joshi
Vimal Chander Joshi
Hindustan Times

The last 10 were 'fun days' for the 13 councillors who turned the tide on Tuesday.

They are loyal supporters of Gurgaon MP Rao Inderjit Singh, and didn't sway to the other Congress faction led by chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.

After deciding whom to elect as mayor, the 13 'game changers' were sent to Sariska in Rajasthan by Singh. This was to shield them from any attempt to poach by the other Congress faction or parties.

"We stayed at Sariska Palace hotel. We wanted to relax a bit but we could not as we were tense about the mayoral poll," said GL Sharma, district Congress (urban) president.

They switched off their cellphones, and some even left their phones at home. They bought new local SIM cards to communicate with select people.

The group returned from Sariska on June 14, a day before the election, which was postponed. Then they were sent to Goa after meeting Singh.

The team had decided whom to elect for the mayor's post and the other two top posts as well on the first day of their 'vacation'. "I knew 10 days ago that I would be the mayor," said newly-elected mayor Vimal Yadav.

Traffic chaos
However, there was high drama on Tuesday when supporters of all 35 councillors thronged Huda Gymkhana Club. Traffic was thrown out of gear, with cavalcade after cavalcade of luxury cars and SUVs making a beeline to the election venue. Commuters were stuck for a long time near Signature Tower crossing.

Amid high security, motorists tried to figure out what was happening, while some journalists argued with security personnel to let them enter the premises.

Traffic was eased after the voting process ended. Most motorists didn't know the poll was in progress. The atmosphere was even more charged when all six Indian National Lok Dal councillors abstained from voting and left the venue, alleging horse trading.

First Published: Jun 22, 2011 00:42 IST