Jalandhar – Five-time councillor Jagdish Raj Raja was on Thursday elected as the new Mayor of Jalandhar city. He was elected to top civic body post after mayoral elections were concluded here. Also, a 56-year-old fourtime councillor Surinder Kaur was elected as senior deputy Mayor and Harsimranjeet Singh Bunty was elected as deputy Mayor. 63-year-old Raja has twice been elected as the Leader of the Opposition in the MC House. He first won as an independent candidate in 1991 after that in 1997, 2007 and 2012 he won under the banner of Congress and remained an active member of the party in Municipal affairs.
He did not contest in 2002, when his wife became senior deputy Mayor. His wife Anita Raja has also served as three-time councillor. The couple won in 2012 and 2017 MCpolls from their wards. Raja is a close aide of Jalandhar Central MILA Rajinder Beri and shares a good relationship with Jalandhar North MLA Avtar Henry junior as well, who had recommended his name for the post to the high command. After winning the election, Raja thanked city residents for electing him as the mayor. “This is a big responsibility as the civic body is facing financial crunch. My top priorities will be development of the city and to restart the pending projects,” he said. This will be done with the help of MLAs and MP to get MC back on track, he added.
Raja said the Congress had won the elections by raising the issue of corruption prevalent in the Municipal Corporation. He said he would ensure a corruption-free and hasslefree public utility service system in the MC. Jalandhar Divisional Commissioner Raikamal Chaudhary presided over the Swearing-in ceremony. After swearing-in ceremony of 80 councilors, MILA Rajinder Beri proposed Raja’s name, which was supported by a majority of the councillors after which he was announced as the new mayor of the city.
Cabinet Minister Aruna Chaudhary reached Jalandhar for the oath-taking ceremony and Member of Parliament Santokh Singh Chaudhary and Congress MLAs Pargat Singh, Sushil Kumar Rinku, Rajinder Beri, Bawa Henry and Chaudhary Surinder Singh were also present. Earlier, 15 councillors of Amritsar who gave a miss to the swearing-in on Tuesday at Amritsar took the oath in the office of Jalandhar Divisional Commissioner. Jalandhar was divided into 80 wards after new delimitation of wards and Congress got a landslide victory in recent civic polls held in December last year by sweeping 65 seats. The BJP won eight and the SAD five. The remaining two seats were won by independent candidates.