The Hush Post: Balkar Singh was elected as Ludhiana Mayor on Monday morning. With him Sham Sunder Malhotra has been elected as senior deputy mayor and Sarabjit Kaur Shimlapuri as the deputy mayor.
Their election was announced by Lok Sabha MP from Ludhiana Ravneet Singh Bittu along with other senior leaders of the District Congress Committee (DCC).
The oath administering ceremony was held at the Meeting Hall of the Municipal Corporation (MC) Zone A (Headquarters), near Mata Rani Chowk.
The ruling party in Punjab had won 62 seats out of 95 in the Ludhiana Municipal Corporation (LMC) elections held on February 24. Ever since then everybody was speculating on the likely names of the candidates for the coveted post of Ludhiana Mayor. These speculations were rife as late as till Sunday evening. But with Balkar Singh being elected as the Mayor, all these speculations have been put to rest forever.
Earlier, the names of Congress councillors Balkar Singh, Pal Singh Grewal and DCC president Gurpreet Gogi were talked about to be among those in the race for the top post. The task of choosing the mayor is a complicated one and Congress leaders had been holding meetings and deliberations on this for over a month.
“It is the decision of the party high command, and I will accept it whole-heartedly. My only preference is the public, and I will continue serving if I do not get the chance,” said Balkar Singh.
Gurpreet Gogi, who was also a front-runner for the coveted post, said “I was asked to send a letter duly signed by all Congress councillors that the CM had all the rights to elect the mayor, and that I had done the same the very next day from the election results. Everybody would go by the decision of the party high command.”
The Divisional Commissioner of Patiala administered the oath to the new councillors. This will be the 6th House of the MC.
Senior Congress leaders including former minister and MLA Rakesh Pandey, another former Punjab minister and MLA Surinder Dawar, MLA Sanjay Talwar, MLA Bharat Bhushan Ashu along with others were present on this occasion.
The first Mayor of Ludhiana was Chaudhary Sat Parkash, who was elected in 1992. The Ludhiana MC is the biggest MC of Punjab.