Hindustan Times (Jammu)

Mayors for Dharamshal­a, Mandi, Palampur MCs elected

BJP’s Onkar Nehria is Dharamshal­a mayor, Deepali Jaswal to take charge in Mandi; Cong’s Poonam Bali to lead Palampur MC

- Gaurav Bisht/Naresh K Thakur letterschd@hindustant­imes.com

Elections for the mayors and deputy mayors of the Dharamshal­a, Mandi, and Palampur municipal corporatio­ns were held on Tuesday.

BJP’s Onkar Singh Nehria is the mayor of the Dharamshal­a MC, Deepali Jaswal of Mandi and Congress’ Poonam Bali will head Palampur’s civic body.

In Dharamshal­a, Nehria was elected unopposed for the top post while voting was held for the post of his deputy, which was won by independen­t councillor Sarv Chand.

BJP had eight members in the 17-member house and was one short of majority. Congress had five members while four candidates were independen­ts.

Nehria, who comes from the Gaddi tribe, a dominant community in Dharamshal­a, had won the election from McLeodganj ward. He had served as a deputy mayor in the previous MC.

Chand had contested the election as an independen­t candidate after being denied a ticket by the BJP. He had also been expelled from the party for six years. He, however, sided with the BJP after winning the elections.

Chand defeated Congress candidate and former mayor Devinder Jaggi to become the new deputy mayor. He polled 11 votes while Jaggi got six votes. Three Independen­ts voted for the BJP candidate while one favoured the Congress.

After winning the election, Nehria said his priority would be to pace up developmen­t projects, especially projects being executed under the smart city mission.

Elections for the Dharamshal­a mayor had become a prestige issue for the BJP and the CM flew in from Shimla to keep a tab on the entire process. He also met the BJP councillor­s before election to discuss the strategy.

Virender Bhatt becomes deputy mayor in Mandi

In the newly created Mandi municipal corporatio­n, Deepali Jaswal became the first mayor unopposed while Virender Bhatt was elected as the secondin-command.

BJP had won 11 seats in the 15-member house in Mandi MC and had a clear majority. Congress has four members in the corporatio­n. Jaswal had won the election from Thaneda ward. Bhatt, once a trusted lieutenant of legislator Anil Sharma, won from the Old Mandi ward. He had joined BJP with Sharma before the 2017 assembly elections.

Anish Nag strikes gold in Palampur

While Poonam Bali, who was elected from Bharmat ward, was unanimousl­y elected as mayor in the Palampur municipal corporatio­n, Anish Nag has been elected as deputy mayor.

Nag, who was initially not even contesting the polls, was asked to file the nomination papers after the first candidate’s papers were rejected. He not only won the election but also grabbed a top spot!

Congress had swept the MC elections in Palampur winning 11 seats in a 15-member house. Two seats had been won by Independen­ts.

Solan election deferred to April 16

Meanwhile, election to deputy mayor and mayor in the Solan municipal corporatio­n was deferred to April 16 amid highvoltag­e drama.

The district administra­tion had fixed 11am as the time for oath ceremony and election process. However, additional deputy commission­er (ADC) Anurag Chandra deferred the same after Congress councillor­s failed to turn up for over an hour.However, the Congress protested the decision.

Congress in-charge for the Solan MC election Rajinder Singh Rana termed it an attempt by BJP to influence the election. The ADC later returned to the venue and administer­ed the oath to Congress members. However, the election would be held on April 16 as seven BJP councillor­s and one independen­t candidate did not take oath.

 ??  ?? Onkar Singh Nehria
Onkar Singh Nehria
 ??  ?? Deepali Jaswal
Deepali Jaswal
 ??  ?? Poonam Bali
Poonam Bali

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