The initial phase of polling for the Chandigarh municipal corporation has concluded, resulting in the election of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) councillor Manoj Sonkar as the new mayor, as reported by Hindustan Times.
The mayoral elections were being viewed as a preliminary test for the INDI Alliance versus BJP ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha polls later this year.
Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader Raghav Chadha had earlier expressed optimism that this election would have a significant impact on national politics, laying the groundwork for the 2024 Lok Sabha election.
Despite existing disagreements between AAP and Congress at the state level, particularly regarding seat-sharing in Delhi and Punjab, Chadha referred to the Chandigarh mayoral election as a "curtain-raiser" and a "tone-setter."
He also asserted that when the INDI Alliance participates, the outcome is "1+1 is not 2, instead 11," predicting a score of INDI Alliance-1 and BJP-0.
Originally planned for 18 January, the polls faced a delay just before the voting when presiding officer Anil Masih fell ill.
This led to protests by members of the AAP and the Congress, accusing the BJP of orchestrating the situation.
Initially set for 6 February, the deputy commissioner advanced the polls to 30 January following the Punjab and Haryana High Court's directive to the union territory administration.
Voting commenced at around 11am at the Assembly hall of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, Sector 17.
Approximately 700 police personnel, including paramilitary forces, have been deployed to ensure law and order during the election at the municipal corporation building.
In the 35-member municipal corporation house, the AAP and the Congress jointly hold 20 votes, while the BJP, in power for eight years, commands 15 votes, including 14 from councillors and one from MP Kirron Kher.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
An appeal from Swarajya
At Swarajya, we rely on our readers' support through subscriptions to sustain our media platform. Unlike larger conglomerates, we are unable to relentlessly chase advertising money — our model is largely built on your patronage.
Your support has never been more crucial. We work tirelessly to deliver 10-15 high-quality articles daily, ensuring you receive insightful content from 7 AM to 10 PM.
If you believe India's story has to be articulated in a way it has never been done before without shrugging it off, become a patron (or) subscribe now for ₹̶2̶4̶0̶0̶ ₹1999 and get 12 print issues, unlimited digital access for 1 year, a special India that is Bharat T-shirt (Offer ends soon).
We are counting on you!