Mayor race: Parties to announce candidates today
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With the date for filing of nominations for the Mayoral elections drawing near, political parties are in process of finalising the names of candidates that will be announced on Thursday. Subhash Chawla from the Congress and Arun Sood from the BJP-SAD alliance have emerged the front runners to be named the Mayoral candidates.
Meetings of leaders of both the parties will be held on Thursday for the final announcement. Apart from the Mayor, the candidates for senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor would be announced. The nominations are to be filed on December 28 and the elections are scheduled for January 1.
During the convention of the Congress held on December 21, the councillors of the party were called for a one-on-one meeting with the general secretary of the AICC Gulchain Singh Charak. The councillors had left the decision to the local MP and Union Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and president of city unit of the party B B Bahl.
There were four prospective candidates in race in the party. These included Subhash Chawla and Pardeep Chhabra who have been mayors in the previous tenures of the MC. Two first timers Mukesh Bassi and Sat Parkash Aggarwal were also in the race. A meeting of the party is scheduled for tomorrow. It is expected that Chawla would be named the candidate.
Meanwhile, BJP leaders have been holding meeting for the last two days. While the name of the candidate was not finalized in the meetings, Arun Sood has emerged as the likely choice. The BJP has less councillors in the MC House. For any candidate garnering enough numbers to win the election would be a tough task. A few of the prospective candidates reportedly expressed reluctance to contest keeping in view this situation.
A BJP leader said that a few of the prospective candidates have stated that while the final decision rests with the party, the incharge of the affairs of the MC House be asked to contest. With Sood being the incharge, he is likely to be named the candidate. The party generally offers one seat to contest to a councillor of SAD with the party being alliance partners. Since SAD councillor Harjinder Kaur has been Mayor twice, she is not keen to contest for the other two posts. The other SAD councillor Malkit Singh had in the previous election also contested as the deputy mayor.