The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) retained the top post in the Municipal Corporation Chandigarh (MCC) on Tuesday with its candidate, Anup Gupta, defeating Aam Aadmi Party’s Jasbir Singh Laddi by one vote. Anup Gupta will now become the city’s new mayor.
Of the 29 votes polled, BJP’s Anup Gupta got 15 votes while the AAP candidate Jasbir Singh Laddi managed 14 votes. The mayoral polls became a close fight between the two parties after the Congress, which has six members, and the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) with one member abstained from voting.
As both the BJP and the AAP got 14 votes apiece, the vote of BJP’s Member of Parliament from Chandigarh Kirron Kher, being an ex-officio member of the House, proved decisive in favour of the saffron party.
BJP’s Kanwarjit Singh Rana beat AAP’s Taruna Mehta to become senior deputy mayor while saffron party’s Harjeet Singh became the deputy Mayor defeating AAP’s Suman Sharma.
The BJP had last year too won the mayor’s post by defeating the AAP by just one vote. At that time, one vote in favour of AAP candidate Anju Katyal was declared invalid, enabling BJP’s Sarabjit Kaur to occupy the top chair in the corporation.
A businessman, the new Chandigarh mayor Anup Gupta, 38, is a law graduate. He was first elected councillor in 2021. He is known to be close to all top BJP leaders in Chandigarh and was elected deputy mayor in the previous poll, besides holding the post of BJP secretary.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Rajiv Sharma justified the party’s decision to abstain from the poll. Accusing both the BJP and the AAP of luring its councillors with money, the Congress had taken them to Kasauli in Himachal Pradesh.
He said the Congress has decided to keep away from the election and sit in the Opposition in order to expose the anti-people policies of the AAP and BJP.