ALSO READBJP considering legal options against municipal poll violence I-T audit: CPI(M) declared Rs 3 cr cash-in-hand; Cong, BJP Shah decries Congress for lack of internal democracy TMC wins by-poll, BJP increases vote share finishing second CPI attacks Prasad over triple talaq, questions timing of his
The election of the mayor and deputy mayor of the Shimla Municipal Corporation (SMC) was deferred till tomorrow over lack of quorum as the Congress and CPI (M) councillors walked away after taking oath. The election would be held tomorrow and the new mayor and deputy mayor would be elected even if some members stay absent, officials said. A minimum quorum of two-thirds (26) members is required for the election of the mayor and his deputy but only 19 BJP backed councillors were present. Immediately after D K Gupta, Director of Urban Development, administered oath to newly elected members and adjourned the House for tea break, the Congress and CPI(M) councillors left and did not return when the House reassembled. Meanwhile the BJP backed councillors remained closeted inside the Bachat Bhawan, the meeting venue. After waiting for some time, Gupta announced that the election cannot be held as the quorum was incomplete and adjourned the house till 11.00 AM tomorrow. Earlier the BJP got a shot in the arm with the support of an independent Sanjay Parmar, elected from Kachhi Ghati ward, raising its strength to 19 in the 34-member house. BJP rebel, Rakesh Kumar, who was elected from Panthaghati, had already announced support to BJP. The BJP councillors had gone into hiding immediate after the results were announced and appeared only at the venue of the meeting. All 19 councillors, escorted by state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti and local BJP MLA Suresh Bharadwaj reached the venue together and party workers made a human chain to insulate them from any outside contact. The BJP councillors were taken to some unknown destination as the party leaders feared poaching by the Congress. The BJP backed councillors again left for some unknown place after the meeting. In the election held on June 16, 17 BJP backed and 12 Congress supported councillors had won.
Two independents were taken by BJP into its fold, raising its strength to 19. HPCC president Sukhvinder Sukkhu accused the BJP of keeping the councillors in captivity. The Mayor and deputy Mayor would be elected tomorrow whether the Congress and CPI(M) attend the meeting or not, official sources said. The Himachal High Court had directed the state government to hold the polls and ensure that the SMC was duly constituted by June 20.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)