Chandigarh mayoral polls: AAP holds protests against BJP

The AAP on Sunday held a protest against the BJP over alleged rigging of the recently held Chandigarh mayoral elections and demanded that the presiding officer be arrested for “tampering” with ballot papers.

AAP councillors, led by the party`s Chandigarh co-incharge Sunny Ahluwalia, squatted outside the municipal corporation office.

Ahluwalia said they have decided that starting Sunday, five AAP members (one leader and four councillors) will observe a hunger strike and then the next day, another five will do the same.

“This relay hunger strike is against the `vote chor` (vote thief) BJP and to save our democracy,” he said.

This protest will continue until Presiding Officer Anil Masih is arrested and the “fake” mayor is removed, he said.

Ahluwalia further said the AAP will also hold candlelight marches against the BJP at prominent places in Chandigarh, like Rose Garden and Sukhna lake.

The protesters accused Masih of “tampering” with some ballot papers during the January 30 mayoral polls which led to eight votes being declared invalid.

They were later detained by police.

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The BJP swept the Chandigarh mayoral polls, in a setback to the Congress-AAP alliance.

BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar defeated the AAP`s Kuldeep Kumar for the mayor`s post, polling 16 votes against his rival`s 12. Eight votes were declared invalid.

Opposition councillors alleged the presiding officer tampered with the ballot papers, a charge rubbished by the BJP.

The AAP moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court and sought fresh elections under the supervision of a retired judge but the court refused to grant any interim relief.

The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear on Monday an AAP councillor`s plea challenging the HC order.

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