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Neenu Sharma defeats BJP candidate to become new Mayor of Dharamshala Municipal Corporation

ARVIND SHARMA | December 05, 2023 08:30 AM

DHARAMSALA: In a surprising turn of events, Neenu Sharma of the Congress has been elected as the Mayor of the Dharamshala Municipal Corporation (MC) in Himachal Pradesh, with Tajendra Kaur of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) securing the position of Deputy Mayor. The voting for both posts resulted in a tie, with each candidate receiving 9 votes. Notably, the election saw the active participation of local MLA Sudhir Sharma, who cast the deciding vote, contributing to the Congress's victory.

The election for the Mayor's post witnessed a contest between Neenu Sharma of the Congress and Monica Pathania of the BJP, while the Deputy Mayor's position was contested by Tajender Kaur of the BJP and Anurag of the Congress. Both contests ended in a tie, leading to the Mayor and Deputy Mayor being selected through a lottery system.

The elections were held on Saturday in the Municipal Corporation office auditorium in the presence of presiding officer, Additional Deputy Commissioner Rohit Rathore. After this, the presiding officer, Additional Deputy Commissioner Rohit Rathore, administered the oath of office and secrecy to the newly elected Mayor and Deputy Mayor.

This election marked a significant upset for the BJP in the Dharamshala MC, where Congress, despite having only five councilors out of the 17-member corporation, managed to capture the leadership positions. The BJP, which had eight councilors, fell short in the mayoral race, and four independents played a crucial role in determining the outcome.

Before the voting took place, the BJP had claimed the backing of 10 members, including two independent councillors. Former minister Vipin Singh Parmar was appointed as the BJP's in-charge for Dharamshala, while Congress had assigned Nagrota Bagwan MLA RS Bali as its in-charge for the MC elections. RS Bali's influence in Kangra district appears to have grown with this unexpected victory.

Neenu Sharma, upon being elected as the Mayor, expressed gratitude to her friends for their unwavering support, emphasizing the significance of camaraderie in achieving success. She confidently assumed her new role and thanked those who believed in her candidacy.

The outgoing Mayor and Deputy Mayor, Omkar Naihariya and Sarvchand Galotia, respectively, had completed their two-and-a-half-year tenure just one and a half months ago, making way for this unexpected political development in Dharamshala.

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