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BJP’s Sarabjit Kaur is the new Chandigarh mayor

Defeats Aam Aadmi Party’s Anju Katyal after one vote was declared invalid; AAP and BJP have 14 votes each in the new MC House; Congress, SAD abstain from voting

Bharatiya Janata Party’s Sarabjit Kaur Dhillon was on Saturday elected the new Chandigarh mayor after she defeated Aam Aadmi Party’s Anju Katyal by one vote.

Seven councillors of the Congress and the lone member of the Shiromani Akali Dal in the 35-member House abstained from voting in the Chandigarh municipal corporation (MC) mayoral election.

Sarabjit Kaur got 14 votes, while Katyal got 13 votes and one vote was declared invalid. Both the BJP and the AAP had 14 votes each in the House.

Sarabjit Kaur Dhillon, a councillor from ward number 6 is the wife of Jagtar Singh Dhillon, a former councillor and lives in Mani Majra. She has studied till BA second year. She entered politics after her husband’s ward was reserved for a woman candidate.

BJP’s Dalip Sharma won the senior deputy mayor election, defeating AAP’s Prem Lata. Sharma got 15 votes and Lata 13 out of the 28 votes cast.

BJP candidate Anup Gupta won the deputy mayor’s election. He was declared the winner by draw of lots. Earlier, Gupta and Ram Chander Yadav of the AAP were tied with 14 votes each in the House with a strength of 28 members. The Congress and the SAD abstained from this election as well.

In the December 24 election, the AAP bagged 14 seats, BJP 12 seats, Congress eight and the SAD one seat. The number of BJP votes in the House has gone up to 14 as Harpreet Kaur Babla, the wife of former Chandigarh Congress vice-president, Devinder Babla, joined the BJP. Another vote it has is of city MP Kirron Kher.

Soon after the declaration of the result, AAP councillors resorted to sloganeering. The result is disappointing for the AAP, which became largest party in the House, in its maiden election but lost the mayoral polls.

In the last five years, this is the first time when no clear winner could be predicted in the mayoral battle.

In the previous term of the House, the BJP had a majority of 20 of the 26 seats, and even though there were some hiccups in a couple of mayoral elections, the results were always a foregone conclusion.


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