After internal bitterness, BJP’s Moudgil elected Chandigarh Mayor

Chandigarh, Jan 9 (IANS) BJP Councillor Davesh Moudgil was on Tuesday elected the 22nd mayor of Chandigarh. Moudgil, 40, secured 22 out of the 27 votes in the election here and will remain in office for a one-year term. He defeated Congress Councillor Devinder Singh Babla, who got only five votes. BJP Councillors Gurpreet Singh Dhillon and Vinod Aggarwal were elected Senior Deputy Mayor and Deputy Mayor, respectively, of the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. Both defeated Congress opponents in straight contests. The election to the mayor was preceded by bitter infighting in the city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) with 14 councillors, led by outgoing Mayor Asha Jaswal and former Mayor Arun Sood, in a rebellious mood. Jaswal and another councillor even filed their nominations for the post of Mayor and Senior Deputy Mayor, causing a lot of embarrassment to the BJP leadership here and in Delhi. The rebel BJP group was opposed to the BJP nominating Moudgil, saying he had humiliated the outgoing Mayor and other BJP councillors through his actions earlier. Both withdrew their nominations only on Monday after the BJP central leadership, including Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher and city unit President Sanjay Tandon, pacified them. Kher remained present during the voting on Tuesday and even accompanied Moudgil to the mayor’s chair after he got elected. She also voted in the election. The BJP has 20 councillors in the municipal house while its alliance partner Shiromani Akali Dal has one councillor. –IANS js/him/dg

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