BJP’s rebel councillor Vishnu Dutt (left) was elected the mayor of Jaipur on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.(HT Photo)
BJP’s rebel councillor Vishnu Dutt (left) was elected the mayor of Jaipur on Tuesday, January 22, 2019.(HT Photo)

Rebel BJP councillor Vishnu Dutt elected Jaipur mayor, wins by one vote

Fearing defection, the BJP had herded its councillors in a resort on the Jaipur-Ajmer highway on Sunday night and brought them to the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) office only on Tuesday morning for the election.
By HT Correspondent | Hindustan Times, Jaipur
UPDATED ON JAN 23, 2019 03:37 PM IST

Vishnu Dutt (Laata) was on Tuesday elected as the new Jaipur Mayor, defeating BJP candidate Manoj Bhardwaj by one vote, said returning officer Arvind Saraswat.

Dutt, 56, the BJP councillor from ward No 42 , filed his nomination as an Independent candidate. The Congress backed Dutt, who also got votes from the BJP, as the saffron party failed to keep its flock together.

Fearing defection, the BJP had herded its councillors in a resort on the Jaipur-Ajmer highway on Sunday night and brought them to the Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) office only on Tuesday morning for the election.

In the house of 90 councillors, BJP has 63 members, Congress 18 and there are nine Independents. Congress did not field a candidate for the by-election necessitated by the election of Ashok Lahoty as MLA.

Bhardwaj, the deputy mayor, was holding the charge as interim mayor.

Laata got 45 votes, while Bhardwaj got 44. One vote was declared invalid, the returning officer announced at the council hall, where polling was held.

A resident of Mansarovar, Laata is a native of Moana village in Sanganer near Jaipur. He has two daughters and a son.

“In a democratic system, everyone has a right to contest election,” Lata said after he was announced a winner.

Several BJP councillors were heard telling TV crews that it was a dark day for the party in Jaipur because their own pulled the rug from under their feet.

BJP expels Vishnu Dutt for 6 years

The BJP expelled JMC Mayor Vishnu Laata for six years for “anti-party activities”.

State BJP president Madanlal Saini said the party has expelled Dutt for filing paper as an independent despite being a BJP councillor and a member of the party.

Saini also announced a three-member committee to find out the BJP councillors who voted against the party candidate.

Lata got 45 votes, including 18 of Congress and 9 of Independents. Around 18 BJP councillors have voted for him.

“Action against them will follow the submission of report by the committee,” Saini said.

The three-member panel includes Amber legislator Satish Poonia, former ministers Arun Chaturvedi and Rajendra Gahlot.

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