BJP MP Kirron Kher congratulates newly elected Chandigarh mayor Davesh Moudgil.
The BJP has won the elections to the top three posts in Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, voting for which was held today. Davesh Moudgil was elected mayor, Gurpreet Singh Dhillon senior deputy mayor and Vinod Aggarwal deputy mayor in the 27-member civic body.
The BJP victory came despite an internal rift within the councillors, which was seen as an advantage for the Congress that is in minority in the 27-member house. Ahead of the elections, outgoing mayor Asha Kumari Jaswal had rebelled, filing nomination against party nominee Davesh Moudgil. She withdrew her nomination on the eve of the election.
The upswing in the party's fortunes comes less than a month after its huge loss in the civic elections in Amritsar, Patiala and Jalandhar, which the Congress swept. The party -- which could not win a single seat in the Patiala civic body -- had accused the Congress of rigging and misuse of state machinery and demanded that the polls be scrapped.
Chief Minister Amarinder Singh had described the results as a public rejection of what he called the Opposition's deceitful propaganda. Months before, the Congress had wrested the state from the Akali-BJP combine which had been in power for nine years.
In the 27-member corporation, BJP has 20 councillors, its ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) one, the Congress one, one Independent member and one vote is of BJP lawmaker Kirron Kher, who is an ex-officio member.
Mr Moudgil, who will be the 22nd mayor of the civic body, got 22 votes as opposed to Davinder Singh Babla of the Congress, who got five votes. Dhillon bagged 21 votes, beating his Congress rival Sheela Phool Singh who got six votes. Aggarwal got 22 votes while Congress candidate Ravinder Kaur got four. One vote was declared invalid.
Also, for the first time in the civic body's history, the nine nominated councillors could not participate after their right to vote was struck down by the Punjab and Haryana High Court in August last year. The case -- where the petitioners had challenged the voting rights of nominated members, saying it is a violation of constitutional provisions - is pending in Supreme Court.With inputs from PTI