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Posted at: Apr 10, 2016, 12:58 AM; last updated: Apr 10, 2016, 12:58 AM (IST)

Rajni elected first Dharamsala Mayor

Jaggi her deputy; Sudhir administers oath to members
Rajni elected first Dharamsala Mayor
Urban Development Minister Sudhir Sharma flanked by newly elected Mayor Rajni and her deputy Davinder Jaggi after taking oath in Dharamsala on Saturday. photo: kamaljeet

Lalit Mohan

Tribune News Service

Dharamsala, April 9

Rajni, a Congress member from the Khaniara ward, was today elected as the first Mayor of Dharamsala. She was elected unopposed as the post of Mayor was reserved for an SC candidate by the state government through a notification.

The post of Deputy Mayor went to Davinder Jaggi, Congress councillor from the Shyam Nagar ward. Earlier, Congress councillor RS Rana was being tipped to bag the post.

Interestingly, despite the fact that the BJP had only three of the 17 elected members in the municipal corporation, one of its members, Onkar Nehria, filed nomination for the post of Deputy Mayor.

Sources said some Congress members had assured support to him. They said some members who were earlier loyal to former Union minister Chandresh Kumari had assured support to him.

However, the Congress managed to keep its flock together and Nehria got just two votes. Congress nominee Davinder Jaggi got 14 votes and one vote was declared invalid.

The sources said Congress members met at the residence of local MLA and Minister for Urban Development Sudhir Sharma this morning and sorted out their differences.

The 17 newly elected members of the municipal corporation were administered the oath by the minister at the Himachal Pradesh Assembly complex in Tapovan.

The loss in municipal elections was a setback to the BJP as it had exercised all its might to win the elections with Kangra MP and former Chief Minister Shanta Kumar and Leader of Opposition and former Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal campaigning for the party.

However, the Congress did not use the services of any party leader in the campaigning. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh did not come to Dharamsala to campaign for the party. The party won the elections with aggressive door-to-door campaigning by Sudhir.

The municipal election win had silenced the minister’s local critics within the party. Some Congress leaders had been critical of his move to set up a corporation in Dharamsala by including eight adjoining villages within the urban boundary of Dharamsala.

The biggest challenge for the newly formed corporation would be to provide basic amenities like streetlights, good condition streets and proper drinking water supply to newly added areas.

If selected under the Smart City scheme, the corporation will get adequate funds. However, in case it is not selected, it will have to depend on the state government for funds.

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