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Chandigarh Mayoral Polls: Punjab CM Bhagwant Mann Slams BJP, Presiding Officer

The results of the Chandigarh mayoral polls were announced in favour of BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar.

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Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Singh Mann on Tuesday, 30 January, accused the BJP-led Union government of 'murdering democracy' in the context of the election for the post of Chandigarh mayor.

"This moment will be remembered as a black day in the history of our democracy," CM Mann said. "This is a chronic habit of the BJP as they had earlier toppled democratically elected governments in Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Goa, Maharashtra and other states," he added.

"If the counting of 36 votes can’t be conducted in a free and fair manner then how will the polls and counting of votes for the entire country take place impartially?" the chief minister asked.

The results of the Chandigarh mayoral elections were announced in favour of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate Manoj Sonkar – who secured 16 votes – while Congress-AAP candidate Kuldeep Kumar got 12 votes.

However, the Congress and AAP alleged that the Chandigarh mayoral elections were rigged since eight votes were declared invalid by the presiding officer – paving the way for the BJP candidate to win the race.

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Punjab CM Bhagwant Singh Mann further said that BJP had deliberately appointed the head of its minority wing as the presiding officer of the Chandigarh mayoral elections.

Accusing Presiding Officer Anil Masih of bias, Mann said that the former had "jeopardised the constitutional process envisaged by Dr BR Ambedkar in the Indian Constitution, thereby backstabbing the entire nation."

Mann further demanded that Masih be charged with sedition "for deceiving the Constitution of the country."

"The presiding officer had deliberately counted the votes in the absence of polling agents just to ensure the win of the BJP candidate. This is unprecedentedly unfortunate as democratic has once again muzzled for the sake of the saffron party," CM Mann said.

On Tuesday, Congress-AAP candidate Kumar moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court to challenge the results of the mayoral elections, stating that it was a "result of complete fraud and forgery laid upon the democratic process by the respondents and especially Manoj Kumar Sonkar (the newly elected BJP Mayor) and the Presiding Officer Anil Masih."

The High Court on Wednesday, 31 January, declined to stay the election result of the Chandigarh mayoral election.

However, the High Court has reportedly sought a response from the Chandigarh UT administration and the Municipal Corporation of Chandigarh to AAP councillor Kumar's plea within three weeks.

(Parts of this article were generated by AI and published after the content was editorially modified and verified by a human based on their own judgement and expertise. The Quint does not publish AI-generated content without direct human involvement and oversight.)

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Topics:  AAP   Chandigarh   Bhagwant Mann 

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