BJP says INDIA bloc 'brain dead' after Chandigarh loss; Kejriwal claims ‘fraud’ | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

BJP says INDIA bloc 'brain dead' after Chandigarh debacle; Arvind Kejriwal claims ‘fraud’

Jan 30, 2024 05:37 PM IST

BJP chief JP Nadda said the BJP victory showed the INDIA bloc's arithmetic and chemistry weren't working.

New Delhi: The Opposition's INDIA bloc is brain dead, BJP leader Pralhad Joshi said on Tuesday, after his party defeated the AAP-Congress alliance in the Chandigarh mayoral elections. Reacting to the defeat despite having enough numbers in the council, the Arvind Kejriwal-led party called the BJP victory "a broad daylight robbery" and “fraud”.

BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar after winning the Chandigarh mayoral elections. (Ravi Kumar/Hindustan Times)
BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar after winning the Chandigarh mayoral elections. (Ravi Kumar/Hindustan Times)

BJP chief JP Nadda said the BJP victory showed that the INDIA bloc's arithmetic and chemistry weren't working.

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"That the INDI alliance fought their first electoral battle and still lost to BJP shows that neither their arithmetic is working nor their chemistry," he wrote on X.

Punjab BJP leader Jaiveer Shergil called the AAP-Congress alliance a thugbandhan (an alliance of thugs).

“BJP's victory in the election is a victory of democracy and the defeat of the 'thugbandhan' (an alliance of thugs) of Congress and AAP. BJP's victory is the victory of truth over lies, of the politics of service to the nation over the politics of corruption,” he said.

BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar defeated the AAP candidate in the Chandigarh assembly elections.

Reacting to Arvind Kejriwal's accusation that the BJP cheated to secure the victory, Sonkar said levelling allegations is the alliance's main job.

Also read: BJP defeats INDIA bloc in Chandigarh mayoral polls; Arvind Kejriwal claims ‘cheating in broad daylight'

"Levelling allegations is their (AAP-Congress) job. Wherever they don't have their way, they level allegations...Everything is on camera. But when they couldn't digest their defeat, they created this atmosphere and started blaming us. They started tearing ballot papers and jostling people around after the name of the Mayor was announced...When they can't run a small city, how can they run a state?...Let them do a press conference, we are not wrong. We have won the election," he said.

AAP cries foul after Chandigarh defeat

AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal said the BJP murdered democracy.

"Gandhiji was assassinated on this date and after 76 years, they (BJP) have murdered the democracy... It is a black day for democracy. They did hooliganism openly and it is captured on camera. The whole country is seeing how they stole votes... Anyone can win or lose elections, the country should not lose... The issue is that they have won the Chandigarh mayoral elections with open fraud," he said at a press conference.

"25% votes in Chandigarh mayor polls declared invalid; what kind of election was this. They will stoop to any low to win," he added.

AAP leader Saurabh Bharadwaj said the BJP victory was a broad daylight robbery.

"In Chandigarh, the BJP has 14 councillors, while the AAP and Congress have 13 and 7 councillors, respectively. Akali Dal, meanwhile, has just one councillor. The AAP-Congress alliance had 20 councillors while the BJP-Akali Dal combine had 15 councillors. The AAP-Congress alliance clearly had a majority. There was no question that the BJP could win this," he claimed.

AAP MP Raghav Chadha said the victory is illegal and unconstitutional.

"This was not just an unconstitutional and illegal thing but also a treason. Whatever happened today during the mayoral elections in Chandigarh can only be called a treason," he said.

Chadha claimed the BJP employed illegal tactics to win the mayoral elections.

"For the first time in the Chandigarh mayoral elections, 8 out of the 36 votes were declared invalid. The Congress and AAP alliance had to get 20 votes. We got 12 votes and 8 were declared invalid. Not a single vote of the BJP was declared invalid," said Chadha.

Under the alliance's arrangement, the AAP contested for the mayoral seat, whereas the Congress fought for the posts of deputy mayor and senior deputy mayor.

BJP candidate Rajinder Kumar was later elected as the deputy mayor after AAP and Congress councillors refused to cast their votes.

The Aam Aadmi Party has moved the Punjab and Haryana high court against the BJP victory.

Manoj Sonkar polled 16 votes while AAP's Kuldeep Kumar secured 12. Eight votes were declared invalid.

With inputs from PTI, ANI

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