Chandigarh MC elections: Ward quota spoils councillors’ plan

Will have to explore other options as 16 seats reserved for women, SC candidates

Chandigarh MC elections: Ward quota spoils councillors’ plan

Sandeep Rana

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, October 19

The reservation of 16 wards for the MC elections has left many sitting councillors disappointed as their wards have been reserved for women or SC candidates.

Prominent among those affected are the Leader of the Opposition in the MC House, Devinder Singh Babla, who has a stronghold in his ward, BJP councillor Rajesh Kalia, who is also popular in his ward, and three-time BJP councillor Rajesh Bittu, who will now have to either choose other wards or field a woman member of their family in case their parties consider their names.

In a draw of lots conducted by the State Election Commission, UT, in the presence of political leaders and officers, ward numbers 7, 24, 26 and 31 were reserved for SC candidates, 16, 19 and 28 for women SC candidates and 1, 4, 5, 6, 9, 10, 18, 22 and 23 for women candidates (general category).

Of the 35 wards, 16 have been reserved. The area falling under the wards was earlier revised following the merger of 13 villages with the MC in December 2018.

Ward number 10, which now comprises Sector 27, 28 and 29, has been reserved for a woman candidate (general category). In the present House, Sector 27, 28 and 30 fall in ward number 18, from where Babla is the Congress councillor. Ward number 10 now reserved, Babla has started exploring other options.

“My wife will contest from this ward as I have worked a lot here. If the party wants me to contest from some other ward, I will also fight,” said Babla. He won twice from this ward in 2006 and 2016, while his wife won in 2001 when the ward was reserved for women.

The reservation of wards has also come as a blow to old warhorse Bittu, a three-time BJP councillor from ward number 16, which comprises Sector 20 and 33. It is now ward number 18 and has been reserved for a woman candidate (general category). “Whatever the party decides, I will abide by it,” he replied when asked whether he would field a family member or consider contesting from some other ward.

The reservation of wards also caused trouble to Kalia, a former Mayor and BJP councillor from ward number 7 (Maloya, EWS Colony, Maloya, Sector 39 (West) and the grain market). His ward, which is now ward 28, has been reserved for a woman SC candidate. He will also have to do his calculations to remain in the fray.

In a trouble for the ruling BJP, all three seats held by it (revised ward numbers 4, 5 and 6) in Mani Majra have been reserved for women candidates (general category). Councillors Jagtar Singh Jagga, Anil Kumar Dube and Vinod Aggarwal will have to look for alternatives.

“We have active women party leaders in the area. That is not a worry for us,” said city BJP chief Arun Sood. The BJP and the Opposition Congress will now have to scout for more women candidates.

Areas under 16 reserved wards

For SC candidate

Ward No. 7: Ambedkar Colony, Charan Singh Colony and small flats, all in Mauli Jagran

Ward No. 24: Sector 36, 42, 53 and 54, Furniture Market, Adarsh Colony and Sector 42

Ward No. 26: Sector 38 (West), Dadu Majra Colony, Dadu Majra village, Shahpur Colony and village

Ward No. 31: Kajheri Colony, Sector 52, Sector 61, Kajheri village, Transit Camp, Karsan Colony, Kuldeep Colony, Pandit Colony, Gwala Colony and Majdoor Colony in Kajheri

For woman SC candidate

Ward No. 16: Sector 25 Bhaskar Colony, Sector 25 and 25 (West)

Ward No. 19: Industrial Area, Phase II, Ram Darbar, Tatarpur

Ward No. 28: Maloya village, EWS Colony, Maloya, Sector 39 (West), Gursagar Bhattal Colony, Gwala and Kumhar Colony, Sukhrana and Bansal Farm

For woman (general category) candidate

Ward No. 1: Kaimbwala, Khuda Ali Sher, Khuda Lahora, Khuda Jassu, Khuda Lahora Colony

Ward No. 4: Basti Kishangarh, Basti Bhagwanpura, Pipli Wala Town, Housing Board duplex houses, Mani Majra, IT Park

Ward No. 5: Old Mani Majra (NAC), Shanti Nagar, Mariwala Town, Thakur Dwara, Govindpura

Ward No. 6: Railway Colony, Mauli Jagran (Part II), Shivalik Enclave, Dhillon Complex, Motor Market, Darshni Bagh, Subhash Nagar, Indira Colony

Ward No. 9: Industrial Area, Phase I, Sanjay Colony, Kabari Colony, Colony No. 4, Daria

Ward No. 10: Sector 27, 28, 29

Ward No. 18: Sector 20 and 30

Ward No. 22: Sector 31 to 33

Ward No. 23: Sector 34, 35 and 43

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