“Bhagwant Mann Laments Chandigarh Election Loss as a Blow to Democracy”

Bhagwant Mann expressed concern that those who engaged in “cheating” might resort to any means in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

On Tuesday, Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann denounced what he labeled as “cheating” in the Chandigarh mayoral elections, declaring it a dark moment for democracy in the nation. His statement followed the BJP’s victory in all three posts, including mayor, defeating the Congress-AAP coalition.

Expressing concern, Mann remarked that those responsible for the alleged “cheating” may resort to extreme measures in the parliamentary elections.

Addressing a press conference in Chandigarh, Mann emphasized, “This day will be etched in memory as a somber chapter in our nation’s democratic history.”

During the mayoral polls, BJP candidate Manoj Sonkar secured victory over AAP’s Kuldeep Kumar for the mayor’s position, garnering 16 votes compared to his rival’s 12, with eight votes deemed invalid.

Following the announcement of results in Chandigarh, councillors from the AAP and Congress, representing the INDIA bloc, immediately protested.

Punjab’s Chief Minister accused presiding officer Anil Masih of marking some ballots during the counting process, leading to their invalidation and alleged that this invalidated votes swayed the outcome in favor of the BJP candidate.

“This incident occurred shortly after we celebrated Republic Day. Now, in these elections, the principles of the Constitution have been disregarded. I would assert that the mayoral elections were unjustly seized by the BJP.”

Mr. Mann further emphasized the absence of AAP and Congress agents, who were supposed to be present. “Anil Masih, appointed as the presiding officer, holds a position in the BJP’s minority wing,” he stated. “I insist that a ‘deshdroh’ (treason) case should be filed against the presiding officer. His actions have amounted to the murder of democracy,” Mr. Mann alleged.

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