As Chandigarh Mayor Resigns Amid Rigging Probe, Arvind Kejriwal’s Remark

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As Chandigarh Mayor Resigns Amid Rigging Probe, Arvind Kejriwal's Remark

New Delhi:

Arvind Kejriwal today said that the resignation of BJP leader Manoj Sonkar proved that the elections were manipulated.

“The mayor’s resignation makes it clear that there was manipulation in the election. If the election is not won, our councilors are being purchased and broken,” Mr Kejriwal said.

His remarks come a day after Mr Sonkar resigned from the post ahead of Supreme Court hearing a petition claiming alleged tampering in the mayoral elections.

Mr Sonkar had secured victory in the closely watched election held on January 30, defeating Aam Aadmi Party’s Kuldeep Kumar.

The election witnessed Mr Sonkar obtaining 16 votes against the AAP candidate’s 12. The BJP’s victory faced controversy with 8 votes being declared invalid, leading to intense scrutiny and accusations from the opposition.

Adding to the AAP’s woes, three of its councillors – Poonam Devi, Neha, and Gurcharan Kala – defected to the BJP on the same day.

With this development, the BJP’s strength in the 35-member Chandigarh Municipal Corporation increased to 17. Additionally, the BJP enjoys the support of one Shiromani Akali Dal councillor, and BJP’s Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher has voting rights as an ex-officio member, bringing their total to 19.

The AAP, now left with 10 councillors, and its ally Congress with seven, find themselves in a challenging situation. The election aftermath has been marked by chaos, with allegations of cheating and electoral irregularities. The opposition, including the AAP and Congress councillors, accused the BJP of not adhering to due electoral processes, claiming that the presiding officer, Anil Masih, was caught “tampering” with ballot papers in a video submitted to the Supreme Court. The BJP, however, has vehemently denied these allegations.

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