No BJP mayor for more than a decade
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It has been more than a decade since a councillor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has become the Mayor of the city. While Harjinder Kaur, a councillor of the Akali Dal, has been the Mayor earlier representing the BJP-SAD alliance, the BJP has not been able to win any of the Mayoral elections. The last time the BJP had its Mayor was from December 1999 to December 2000, when Shanta Hit Abhilashi held the post. Since then, the numbers have not favoured the party.
The BJP had given the city its first Mayor. Kamla Sharma, a BJP leader was the Mayor in 1997. After Sharma, there were three more BJP Mayors. However, after Abhilashi, the BJP has not been able to have its Mayor. The decreasing numbers in the Municipal Corporation is one of the reasons.
During the elections for this term of the MC, 12 councillors of the BJP-SAD were elected, while the Congress had 11. After the death of a BJP councillor and the subsequent by-election, the number of seats held by the Congress increased to 12 and the BJP's seats were reduced to 10.
In the elections held in 2006, 11 councillors, who were elected were from the Congress, two from the Akali Dal, five from the BSP and seven from the BJP. During the first year of this tenure, Harjinder Kaur was elected the Mayor. After the by-elections in 2007, the Congress won the seat raising it's number to 12. The following year, before the election of the Mayor, Ram Sumer Morya and Vijay Singh Rana joined the Congress. The number increased to 16 after the Congress won another by-election.
With the numbers not favouring the party, the BJP has been deprived of a Mayor for all these years. The stand taken by the senior party leaders against voting rights to the nominated councillors had proven to be another deterrent. There are nine nominated councillors in the general House who play an important role in the election of the Mayor. Due to their numbers, the nominated councillors influence the results. In fact, for the election of the current Mayor, the nominated councillors voted for the Congress.