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BJP’s Manoj Sonkar Wins Chandigarh Mayor Election

Manoj Sonkar Wins Chandigarh Mayor Election with 16 Votes, Defeating Congress-AAP Nominee Kuldeep Singh.

BJP’s Manoj Sonkar Claims Victory

In a closely-watched political contest, the Chandigarh mayoral elections have concluded with a resounding victory for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor Manoj Sonkar. Sonkar secured 16 votes, defeating the combined nominee of the Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), Kuldeep Singh, who received 12 votes.

Controversy marred the election as allegations of misconduct were raised against the presiding officer, Anil Masih, who was accused of making unauthorized marks on cast ballots, resulting in the cancellation of eight votes.

Manoj Sonkar, a 39-year-old businessman who has studied up to Class 7, now assumes a critical role in Chandigarh’s governance as the newly-elected mayor.

The lead-up to these mayoral elections was marked by significant developments. Initially scheduled for January 18, the elections faced a postponement due to the presiding officer’s illness. This delay led to protests from members of the AAP and the Congress, who suspected manipulation by the BJP. The High Court of Punjab and Haryana intervened and rescheduled the polls to January 30.

Security was a top priority during the electoral proceedings, with around 700 police personnel, supported by paramilitary forces, ensuring peace and order. The voting took place in the Assembly Hall of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Sector 17, with Member of Parliament Kirron Kher casting the first vote as an ex officio member. The entire process spanned an hour.

The significance of these mayoral elections extends beyond local governance. It is seen as a preliminary contest between the BJP and the emerging INDIA bloc, setting the stage for the forthcoming Lok Sabha Elections in 2024.

BJP Dominates the Scene

For several years, the BJP has consistently secured the mayor’s position in the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. Despite the Congress winning the most seats in the 2021 municipal elections, the BJP successfully elected its mayor for the past two years. This time, the Congress and AAP formed an alliance in an attempt to challenge the BJP’s dominance.

While some political leaders initially viewed this election as a local matter, others, like Raghav Chadha, a Rajya Sabha MP from AAP, saw it as a significant political event that could reshape the political landscape.

Chandigarh Mayor elections before December 31st before

Historically, mayoral elections in Chandigarh were held just before the end of the year on December 31. However, this tradition changed in 2015, when the elections were shifted to early January. Poonam Sharma became the first mayor to take office on January 6, 2015. Subsequently, mayoral elections continued to be held in January. A new mayor, Rajesh Kalia, assumed office on January 19, 2019.

The outcome of the Chandigarh mayoral elections not only impacts local governance but also signals the beginning of a larger political battle as India prepares for the Lok Sabha Elections in 2024.

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