Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have joined forces to contest the upcoming Chandigarh Mayoral elections. The decision entails AAP vying for the Mayor's post, while the Congress will contend for the positions of Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor. The Mayor's post is reserved for a Scheduled Caste candidate in this election scheduled for January 18.
This alliance unfolds even as both parties negotiate seat-sharing arrangements for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha Polls. A crucial meeting in this regard convened in Delhi, featuring Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge, Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal, and former Congress President Rahul Gandhi.
Addressing the collaboration, Congress senior leader Pawan Kumar Bansal remarked, “Lok Sabha elections are on the horizon, but before that, the corporation elections have arrived. We have deliberated on the matter, concluding that AAP will vie for the mayoral post, and Congress will compete for the senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor positions. This strategic move aims for a resounding victory for our candidate from the INDIA bloc.”
Councillors Changing Sides
In a subplot of political maneuvers, BJP Councilor Gurcharanjit Singh Kala switched allegiance to the Aam Aadmi Party just before the Mayor elections. Chandigarh's Ward No. 20 Hallomajra councilor Kala officially joined the AAP in the presence of Mohali MLA Kulwant Singh. Contrarily, four days earlier, AAP councilor Lakhbir Singh Billu had crossed over to the BJP camp.
Mayor Election Mathmatics
The Mayoral election equation involves a total of 35 councillors casting their votes. At present, BJP holds the support of 14 councillors and one MP, while the Aam Aadmi Party commands 13 councillors, and Congress secures 7 councillors. Shiromani Akali Dal contributes 1 councillor to the mix. With 18 votes required for a majority, the BJP currently possesses the highest count at 15. However, the combined strength of AAP and Congress, with a total of 20 votes, could potentially alter the electoral dynamics in Chandigarh.
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