Chawla, Sood to slug it out for mayor’s post
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For the top post of the municipal corporation, there will be a direct contest between a first-timer and a former mayor in the elections scheduled to be held on January 1. While former mayor Subhash Chawla was named as the Congress candidate, Arun Sood was fielded by the BJP-SAD alliance on Thursday.
With the Congress having more councillors in the 36-member House, Chawla has an edge over Sood in the election. The nominated councillors are also expected to support the Congress. Chawla had held the mayor's post in 2003 and has been associated with the Congress for several decades. For Sood, this is his first stint in the civic body. An advocate by profession, he has been handling the party affairs in the MC House.
There were four prospective Congress candidates for the mayor's post: Subhash Chawla, Pardeep Chhabra, Mukesh Bassi and Sat Prakash Aggarwal.
As for the BJP, whose chances of winning are less due to the party's strength, the councillors had left it to the senior party leaders to decide the candidate.
Both the sides also finalised names for the two other posts as well. The Congress named Rana Kashmiri Devi for the post of the senior deputy mayor. The selection came as a surprise to many with the octogenarian not being active in the civic body activities. She has never spoken in the House and is rarely spotted visiting the civic body. She contested the election from ward number 14 after it was reserved for a woman candidate. Vijay Rana, the sitting councillor at that time, had opted to field his mother from the ward following which she was elected.
President of the CTCC B B Bahl said, "Rana Kashmiri Devi belongs to the Rajput caste that has never been given representation in the mayoral elections. Also, she belongs to Burail village."