City to get new mayor on the first day of New Year
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The city will get its new mayor on the first day of the new year with the mayoral elections scheduled for January 1. The election is likely to be a smooth affair for the Congress that has a majority in the House. The candidates made their final pitch on Monday.
There are two candidates each in the fray for the post of mayor, senior deputy mayor and the deputy mayor. Congress candidate Subhash Chawla will face BJP-SAD candidate Arun Sood for the election to the post of mayor. While Chawla has earlier been the mayor of the city, Sood is a first-time councillor.
Rana Kashmiri Devi is the choice of the Congress for the post of senior deputy mayor. Her candidature came as a surprise to most of the councillors as she has never participated in the discussions in the House. A first-timer, she is also not very active. She will be facing BJP councillor Rajesh Gupta who has been a councillor in the previous tenure of the civic body too. The nominated councillors known to have a bent towards the Congress are divided on voting for this post.
For the post of deputy mayor, Congress candidate Satish Kainth and SAD candidate Malkit Singh will face each other once again. The two had contested for this post in the last election and Kainth had emerged victorious.
The candidates sought votes from the nominated councillors as well as those from the BSP and the Independent. In the 36-member House, there are 12 Congress councillors, 11 of the BJP, two of the BSP and one Independent. Union Minister Pawan Bansal has a vote, since he is the ex-officio member being the local MP. The numbers put Congress in an advantageous position.
It is expected that the BSP as well as the Independent candidate will vote for the Congress. The attempts by the BJP to project a united opposition by garnering support of the BSP did not bear fruit as the party was keen on fielding its own mayoral candidate. Independent councillor Gurcharan Dass Kala is a rebel BJP councillor who had contested as an Independent after being denied a ticket by the BJP.