Tribune News Service
Dharamsala, January 12
Intense lobbying has started for the posts of president of eight municipal councils (MCs) in Kangra after the elections held on January 10. The BJP and the Congress won three MCs each while Independent candidates got the majority in two MCs. BJP leaders are working overtime to ensure that only the party-supported councillors are appointed presidents.
In Nurpur, the BJP, for the first time, won six of the nine wards while the Congress won the remaining three. Minister for Forest Rakesh Pathania had worked overtime to ensure the victory of the party in a Congress-dominated council. Now, Pathania is lobbying to have his man installed as its president.
In Kangra, also a traditionally Congress-dominated council, the BJP, for the first time, won three wards while the Congress and Independents also won three wards each. The family of former Congress leader Bal Krishan Sharma exercised considerable influence in the Kangra Municipal Council. One of his family members Munish Sharma, who is a close friend of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, has now joined the BJP. The party is looking towards him to win over Independent candidates in favour of the party.
In Baijnath, the Independents won seven of the 11 municipal wards, while the Congress and the BJP won two each. Here, one of the successful Independent candidates, Ritu Devi, wife of former Zila Parishad member Tilak Raj, is said to be the front-runner for the post of president with the help of the Congress.
In Nagrota-Bagwan, the BJP won six wards while one ward went to an Independent candidate. Here, a candidate supported by local MLA Arun Kumar was lilely to be appointed the MC president. In Shahpur, the Congress won four wards and the BJP three.
In Dehra, the BJP won all seven wards. Here, a stiff fight among the party factions was certain to grab the post. In Jawalamukhi and Jawali, the Congress won a majority of wards. However, it remains to be seen if the party manages to retain its councillors to grab the post.
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