Anup Gupta, 38, of the BJP was elected the mayor of Chandigarh after he defeated Jasbir Singh of the Aam Aadmi Party by one vote in the annual election held on Tuesday. The BJP candidates also won the two posts of deputy mayors of the city.
Of the 29 votes polled, Gupta won 15 votes and Singh got 14 votes. The six Congress councillors and lone Shiromani Akali Dal member abstained from voting.
Gupta, a first-time councillor, was the deputy mayor last year. The mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor are elected for one year.
Kanwarjeet Rana and Harjeet Singh of the BJP were elected as the two deputy mayors.
In the 35-member Chandigarh Municipal Corporation House, the AAP has 14 members and the BJP 15, including the member of Parliament who has an ex officio vote.
Gupta is the BJP secretary for the Union Territory of Chandigarh and is considered close to BJP leader Sanjay Tandon, UT BJP chief Arun Sood and MP Kirron Kher. He was the deputy mayor during Sarabjit Kaur’s term as mayor.
“I thank my party leadership for their faith in me as they chose me as the candidate for this post. I will run the House with the same dignity that our previous mayor (BJP’s Sarabjit Kaur) did,” Gupta said in his address as he took the chair. He was first elected as a councillor in 2021.
The Congress, which had taken its six councillors to the nearby hill station of Kasauli, accused both the BJP and the AAP of “opening money bags to lure them”.
“Under these circumstances, the Congress has decided to stay away from the election and sit in the Opposition to expose the anti-people policies of the AAP and the BJP,” said a Congress leader.