Chandigarh, Jan 1: The ruling Congress Saturday managed to scrape through in the crucial election for the mayor of Chandigarh.
Congress candidate Ravinder Pall Singh won by just one vote, defeating the rebel Congress candidate, Jagjit Singh Kang.
Out of the 33 votes counted, Ravinder Pal Singh got 17 while Kang got 16.
Kang, a Congress councillor, quit the party Tuesday after he was denied nomination. But he received support from the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Akali Dal and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP).
Out of a total of 36 votes, 35 councillors cast their votes Saturday along with union Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal, who represents Chandigarh in parliament. Two votes were declared invalid.
There was confusion after the votes were counted as the returning officer, Kuldip Singh Chandpuri, first declared Kang the winner. However, he corrected himself within minutes and announced Ravinder Pal Singh as elected.
The result showed that the Congress, which had 16 votes in the corporation, failed to get much support from the nine nominated councillors.
The BJP has eight votes while Akali Dal and the BSP have a vote each in the house. There are also nine nominated members.
One councillor did not vote as she was out of the country.
The mayoral election was considered crucial this time as the general election for the corporation is scheduled for December. The present house completes its term by the end of 2011. –(IANS)