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Chandigarh Mayoral polls today: Litmus test for INDIA bloc as BJP to face AAP-Congress duo

The Chandigarh mayoral election will take place today, pitting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) against an alliance of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and the Congress. It will be the first clash between the NDA and the INDIA bloc before the general elections and Nitish Kumar's sensational switch.

Chandigarh Mayoral polls today Litmus test for INDIA bloc as BJP to face AAP Congress duo gcw
First Published Jan 30, 2024, 8:42 AM IST

The Chandigarh mayoral election are set to take place today in what will be the first battle between the Bharatiya Janata Party and the opposition’s INDIA bloc before the Lok Sabha elections.  The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Congress coalition is facing up against the saffron party. In light of the mayoral elections, the city has increased security and erected a three-tiered barrier surrounding the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation.

The Chandigarh mayoral election is significant because the Congress and AAP, two members of the INDIA alliance, are running together to take on the BJP. As an alliance, AAP is contesting for the mayor’s position while Congress candidates are running for senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor post.

Notably, for the last eight years, the saffron party has occupied the position of mayor. In the 35-member Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh, the party has 14 council members. As an ex-officio member, Kirron Kher, the MP for Chandigarh in the BJP, is eligible to vote in the elections. The Congress has seven council members and the Shiromani Akali Dal has one, compared to the Kejriwal-led party's thirteen.

Meanwhile, around 800 police personnel, along with those from the paramilitary forces are set to be deployed during the polling process. The high court directed the Chandigarh police to ensure the councillors’ security as well.

It also requested that the police make sure that there isn't any disturbance or undesirable event on the municipal body's property or in the vicinity during or following the mayoral election.

The Chandigarh government rescheduled the mayoral elections from January 18 to February 6 because the presiding officer, Anil Masih, wasunwell. The current state of law and order was another factor considered in the decision to postpone. However, Congress and AAP council members objected to this action. Masih was reappointed as the presiding authority in spite of evident health concerns.

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