BJP loses, Cong wins Chandigarh Mayor's post

Despite BJP having a majority of "elected" councillors, the saffron party on Tuesday lost the election to the post of Mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation as it failed to get the much needed support from the nine "nominated" councillors.

Chandigarh: Despite BJP having a majority of "elected" councillors, the saffron party on Tuesday lost the election to the post of Mayor of Chandigarh Municipal Corporation as it failed to get the much needed support from the nine "nominated" councillors.

In an electoral roll of 34 (24 elected, nine nominated and one vote of local MP Kirron Kher), BJP lost two of the three posts for which elections were held.

Congress won the posts of Mayor and Deputy Mayor while the post of Senior Deputy Mayor went to BJP nominee, a Chandigarh Municipal Corporation's spokesman said.

Congress nominee Poonam Sharma won the Mayor's post polling 17 votes against 15 votes polled by BJP candidate Heera Negi.

The Senior Deputy Mayor's post was won by BJP candidate Rajesh Gupta who defeated Congress's Satish Kumar Kainth by a margin of two votes. Gupta got 17 votes against 15 of Kainth.

Congress nominee Gurbax Rawat polled 16 votes and defeated sitting Deputy Mayor Devesh Moudgil of BJP by a single vote. Moudgil got 15 votes.

52-year-old Poonam Sharma is a councillor from Ward Number 7 and she has succeeded H C Kalyan, the outgoing Mayor who was also from the Congress.

Both Poonam and Heera Negi are first-time councillors.

Though the Congress had been ruling the MC for last eight years, after the recent Lok Sabha poll debacle, three of its councillors had switched over to the BJP camp giving the saffron party majority in the CMC as far as the elected Councillors are concerned.

When contacted, senior BJP leader and former MP, Satya Pal Jain said the poll results "are very unfortunate. We were not expecting such a result. We were expecting to get 18-19 votes on all the three posts. There was good response from the nominated councillors also in our favour. Now, we will find out the reasons which led to the loss".

However, upbeat after the results were announced, former Railway Minister and former Chandigarh MP, Pawan Kumar Bansal said that BJP has got the taste of its own medicine.

"BJP engineered defections, cajoled, coaxed and even used threat tactics and weaned away three of our members with sole objective of winning today's polls. But now they have got a taste of their own medicine," Bansal said.  

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