AAP demands Chandigarh civic body repoll postponement

Chandigarh: Just hours ahead of the re-polling for the posts of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor of the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on Tuesday asked the Corporation’s Joint Commissioner to postpone the polls owing to non-availability of its Mayor, the presiding officer for the polls.

AAP said that the Mayor Kuldeep Kumar Dhalor is away in Ludhiana to see his ailing sister, besides Senior Deputy Mayor candidate Gurpreet Singh Gabi is out of the city and the Punjab and Haryana High Court is hearing a case relating to the election.

“My sister is unwell and I could not assume charge yesterday, and will not be able to be present in the Municipal Corporation House on Tuesday for the polling,” Mayor Kuldeep Kumar Dhalor was quoted as saying.

Councilor Prem Lata handed over the letter to Secretary Shambhu Rathee for the poll postponement.

All BJP councilors had reached the corporation office ahead of the polling, while AAP councilors didn’t turn up. Also, three AAP councilors, who recently switched loyalties and joined the BJP, did not come.

On Monday, AAP’s alliance partner, the Congress, moved the High Court to delay the polls as the Mayor had not assumed charge, while the BJP moved with a plea that polls should not get delayed.

Earlier, setting aside the election of the BJP candidate as declared by the Returning Officer, the Supreme Court on February 20 had declared AAP councilor Kuldeep Kumar as the Mayor during the hearing of the contentious Chandigarh mayoral election case.

In a 35-member house of the Municipal Corporation, the BJP has 14 councilors, with another vote of Member of Parliament and ex-officio member Kirron Kher.

AAP has 13 councilors, while the Congress holds seven. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has one councilor in the House, who extended support to the BJP.

With the shifting of loyalties, the BJP will have 19 votes, including one SAD, while the AAP will be reduced to 10 votes.

IANS

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