Chandigarh, December 3
Since the post of Mayor is reserved for a Scheduled Caste (SC) candidate this time, the ruling BJP will have no choice as it has only one SC councillor, Manoj Sonkar, while AAP has several of them.
The Congress, which has two SC councillors, said to have made up its mind to go with councillor Jasbir Singh Bunty. The Mayoral polls for electing Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Senior Deputy Mayor are scheduled to be held in early January.
However, there is no clarity whether AAP and the Congress will field their separate candidates for the post of mayor or fight unitedly under the banner of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance. Clarity in this regard is expected after the December 6 meeting of the alliance partners.
“Our party was waiting for the results of the five states. Following these results, which are not as per our expectations, the national party wing may decide on fighting jointly with AAP during the meeting on December 6. In that case, INDIA is surely going to win in the Chandigarh MC polls. If an alliance is not matured, we will definitely contest alone fielding Jasbir Bunty,” said a senior Congress leader while talking to Chandigarh Tribune.
This alliance will put the ruling BJP in a tough position. The saffron party has 15 votes (14 councillors and ex-officio member, i.e. MP), AAP 13, the Congress seven and the SAD one in MC House. The majority mark is 19. A senior BJP councillor said, “Even if two parties manage to unite, unlike us, AAP has many SC candidates for the Mayor’s post. So, there are chances of infighting, which will benefit our party.”
An AAP leader said all councillors of the party were united and they would win the polls. Meanwhile, like previous elections, possible defections could also impact the polls this time.
In case an alliance between AAP and the Congress does not materialise, it is expected to be a triangular contest, provided the Congress does not change its mind at the eleventh hour like it did in the last mayoral elections. Last time, the Congress had announced it was going to contest the mayoral polls but suddenly abstained from the contest or voting. Lone SAD councillor Hardeep Singh abstained from voting.
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