Chandigarh, January 24: The Punjab and Haryana High Court on Wednesday set aside the Chandigarh administration's order postponing the mayoral polls and said the election will be held on January 30. The decision came on a petition challenging an order of the Chandigarh deputy commissioner, who is the authority for holding the mayoral polls, postponing the election from January 18 to February 6.

As the matter came up for hearing, the division bench of Justice Sudhir Singh and Justice Harsh Bunger set aside the Chandigarh administration order, said petitioner's counsel Gurminder Singh. The elections for the posts of mayor, senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor will now be held at 10 am on January 30, he said. "The court has allowed our petition," said Singh, who is also the Punjab Advocate General. He said the presiding authority for the mayoral polls will be appointed on the same day. Chandigarh Mayor Elections 2024: After This Election, the Scorecard Will Be INDIA 1, BJP 0, Says AAP Leader Raghav Chadha (Watch Video)

To a question, Singh said only municipal councillors will be allowed at the Chandigarh municipal corporation office on that day. No supporter will accompany the councillors, he added. The Chandigarh police will ensure security to the municipal councillors, said the petitioner's counsel, adding that no other state police personnel could accompany the councillors for the elections. The court was hearing a petition filed by Kuldeep Kumar, an AAP councillor, who challenged the administration's order to postpone the polls.The may

oral polls, initially slated to be held on January 18, were deferred to February 6 after Anil Masih -- the presiding officer -- fell sick, triggering protests from the Congress and AAP councillors. The Congress and the AAP, which have joined hands for the mayoral polls, have slammed the BJP, accusing it of not allowing the election, fearing "imminent defeat". Under the Congress-AAP alliance, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) will fight for the mayor's seat while the Congress will contest the posts of senior deputy mayor and deputy mayor.

In the 35-member Chandigarh Municipal Corporation, the BJP has 14 councillors. It also has an ex-officio member MP (Kirron Kher) who has voting rights. The AAP has 13 councillors and the Congress seven. The Shiromani Akali Dal has one councillor in the House. During the hearing on Tuesday, the high court had asked the Chandigarh administration to come up with the earliest possible date for holding the mayoral polls or the matter will be decided on merit after hearing. Chandigarh Mayoral Polls 2024: Congress, AAP Forge Alliance To Jointly Contest Mayoral Elections on January 18

In the hearing on Saturday, the counsel for the Chandigarh administration had said the polls were deferred keeping in mind the law and order issue. The counsel for the administration had then apprised the court about the programmes taking place in the city in the wake of the consecration ceremony of the Ram temple in Ayodhya on January 22. Thereafter, police would be busy in the arrangement of the Republic Day celebrations, it was also submitted.

They had also pointed towards the January 16 incident when the AAP councillors turned up at the MC office with the Punjab police commandos. Petitioner Kumar, who was the candidate for the mayor post, in his plea filed on January 19, had sought that the January 18 order of the DC, fixing February 6 as the next date for holding the polls, be set aside and elections be conducted forthwith. On January 18, the AAP had moved the high court after the Chandigarh mayoral polls were abruptly postponed with councillors being told that the presiding officer had fallen ill.

During the hearing, the counsel for the Chandigarh administration had informed the high court that February 6 had been fixed as the next date for the mayoral polls after assessing the law and order situation. The petitioner had also sought quashing the order of the municipal corporation authorities restricting the entry of councillors in the MC premises. The petitioner had demanded holding of the mayoral polls in a fair and free manner.