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Business News/ Politics / News/  Chandigarh Mayor Election: Are numbers skewed against AAP Mayor Kuldeep Kumar?
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Chandigarh Mayor Election: Are numbers skewed against AAP Mayor Kuldeep Kumar?

Chandigarh Mayoral Election: Apart from the 17 votes that it has after 3 AAP defectors, the BJP has its Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher, the ex-officio member of the corporation, and the one Akali Dal councilor on its side.

AAP councillor Kuldeep Kumar after the Supreme Court declared him as winner and Mayor of union territory of Chandigarh (PTI)Premium
AAP councillor Kuldeep Kumar after the Supreme Court declared him as winner and Mayor of union territory of Chandigarh (PTI)

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) candidate Kuldeep Kumar was declared the winner of the Chandigarh Mayor election by the Supreme Court on January 20 with party chief Arvind Kejriwal thanking the top court for "saving democracy in these difficult times." Yet, some reports suggest it's not going to be easy for AAP-Congress alliance to prove majority, if required, in the Municipal Corporation.

 

The Numbers

As things stand the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has 17 Councilors in the 36-member civic body. This includes 14 votes that the saffron party won in the January 30 elections and three AAP defectors who joined the party before Wednesday's SC hearing.

The AAP-Congress alliance which contested the Mayor election jointly won 12 votes, as declared on January 30. Eight votes, declared invalid earlier, are not counted in favour of the alliance taking the total number to 20 votes, as declared by the Supreme Court on Tuesday based on January 30 results. But three AAP defections have left AAP-Congress alliance votes in the house to 17.

The BJP can also count its Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher, the ex-officio member of the corporation, and the sole Akali Dal councilor on its side. So BJP has 19 votes against AAP-Congress Mayor Kuldeep Kumar's 17 in case of a possible non-confidence motion moved against him in the house.

No-Confidence ?

Senior advocate Abhishek Manu Singhvi who represented Kuldeep Kumar in the court that Muncipal Corporation has no provision of no-confidence motion. 

“The Mayor is elected for a fixed one-year term. There is no provision of a no-confidence motion in the municipal corporation," Singhvi told India Today news channel. 

For now, the Congress and the AAP leaders are upbeat about the SC intervention and the results thereof. AAP leaders, including Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal, have termed it the first victory of the INDIA bloc against the BJP.

“We have snatched away victory from them. They had stolen the election, the votes. But we fought till the end and ultimately won. Those who say that BJP can't be defeated - BJP can be defeated with unity, with good planning and strategy and hard work. These results prove the same," Arvind Kejriwal said in a press conference after the SC declared the AAP candidate as the January 30 Mayoral election winner.

The Controversy

 

The BJP had won the Chandigarh mayoral election held on January 30 defeating the comfortably placed AAP-Congress alliance candidate after the returning officer declared eight votes of the coalition partners invalid leading to a legal-political row.

 

Manoj Sonkar of the had emerged as winner defeating Kuldeep Kumar after polling 16 votes against his rival's 12 to bag the mayor's post. The AAP went to High Court and the matter reached the Supreme Court eventually. Manoj Sonkar resigned as Mayor before SC hearing. The top court found irregularities in counting on January 30 and declared the eight 'invalid' votes to be counted in AAP candidate Kuldeep's favour leading to his victory.

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Published: 21 Feb 2024, 07:09 AM IST
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