In a major embarrassment to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the party' rebel councillor Vishnudutt Sharma (Laata) was elected as the Mayor of Jaipur Municipal Corporation (JMC) by defeating the BJP's official candidate and Acting Mayor Manoj Bharadwaj by one vote in the bypoll held on Tuesday. Out of 90 councillors in the JMC, 63 are from the BJP and 19 are of Congress party.
"Of the total 90 votes, one vote was rejected. Sharma got 45 and Bharadwaj got 44 votes. After the counting, Sharma was declared elected," Returning Officer Arvind Saraswat said. BJP's official candidate Manoj Bharadwaj was the acting mayor.
"I was supported by Congress, some of the BJP and independent councillors and I thank them," Sharma said after the declaration of the result.
When asked whether he will join the Congress, he said he will take a decision on this later. "My priority will be on the development of Jaipur," said Sharma, who is the third mayor in a single tenure of (five years) of the present board.
The by-election in the Jaipur Municipal Corporation was necessitated after Dr. Ashok Lahoti resigned from the post of the mayor following his election to the legislative assembly last month. The BJP had resorted to resort politics and all the party councillors were lodged at a private resort on Ajmer Road since Sunday to ensure the victory of the party candidate and.
BJP councillor Nirmal Nahta was elected by the BJP board in November 2014 but he resigned in December 2016 stating personal reasons after which Lahoti was elected.
"The Congress had extended support to Sharma. The BJP was divided and nearly 15 BJP councillors voted for him. BJP leaders are arrogant and they lost assembly elections and will lose the upcoming elections," Transport Minister Pratap Singh Khachariyawas told reporters.