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HC asks Chandigarh Mayor to assume office by Thursday

Author : IANS

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Chandigarh, Feb 27 (IANS) The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Tuesday directed the newly-elected Mayor of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation (CMC), Kuldeep Kumar of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), to assume office by 10 a.m. on Thursday.

Kumar has been instructed to ensure his association with the conduct of the upcoming elections.

A division bench of Justices Sudhir Singh and Harsh Bunger said the election process would be videographed by the authorities. The councillors attending the elections have been prohibited from being accompanied by their supporters or security personnel from other states.

The Chandigarh Police have also been directed to provide adequate security to the councillors attending the voting process, considering they would not have security personnel from other states accompanying them.

The police have also been tasked with ensuring that no disturbances or untoward incidents occurr in and around the Municipal Corporation office premises before, during, or after the election process.

Earlier in the day, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) asked the Corporation’s Joint Commissioner to postpone the polls owing to non-availability of its Mayor, the presiding officer for the elections.

AAP had said that Mayor Kuldeep Kumar is in Ludhiana to see his ailing sister, senior Deputy Mayor candidate Gurpreet Singh Gabi is out of the city, while the Punjab and Haryana High Court is hearing a case relating to the elections.

“My sister is unwell so I could not assume charge yesterday. I will not be able to be present in the House on Tuesday for the polling,” Kumar was quoted as saying.

All the BJP councillors had reached the corporation office ahead of the polling, while the AAP councillors didn’t turn up.

Also, three AAP councillors, who recently switched loyalties and joined the BJP, did not come.

In the 35-member House of the Municipal Corporation, the BJP has 14 councillors, with another vote of Lok Sabha MP and ex-officio member Kirron Kher.

AAP has 13 councillors, while the Congress has seven. The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) has one councillor in the House, who has extended support to the BJP.

With the shifting of loyalties, the BJP will have 19 votes, including one SAD vote, while the AAP will be reduced to 10 votes.



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