With Congress leader Manish Tewari winning the Chandigarh Lok Sabha election, the Bharatiya Janata Party’s grasp on the city’s municipal corporation has weakened.

Tewari, on account of being the Lok Sabha MP, is an ex-officio member of the House and has voting rights. The BJP’s Kirron Kher was earlier the Chandigarh MP, giving the Hindutva party an additional vote.

Before the Lok Sabha election, the Bharatiya Janata Party had 14 councillors in the 36-member House. The Aam Aadmi Party had 13 members, while seven were members of Congress. One seat was held by Shiromani Akali Dal councillor Hardeep Singh.

This meant that the BJP had 16 votes guaranteed – 14 votes from its councillors, one from its former MP, and one vote from the Shiromani Akali Dal councillor.

Due to this, the Aam Aadmi Party-Congress combine earlier struggled to get enough votes to pass agendas on development work.

Apart from Tewari’s victory, the Aam Aadmi Party-Congress alliance’s numbers were also shored up because of the Aam Aadmi Party’s Kuldeep Kumar Tita being declared the mayor by the Supreme Court on February 20.

On May 9, Shiromani Akali Dal councillor Hardeep Singh also left the party and switched to the Aam Aadmi Party.

With these developments, the alliance now has 22 out of 36 votes, giving it the decisive say in passing agendas, according to The Indian Express.

On February 20, the top court set aside the result of the mayoral polls declared by the former presiding officer, Anil Masih, noting that he defaced eight ballot papers in order to invalidate them and declare the Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate as the winner.

The court had on February 5 verbally remarked that the former presiding officer should be prosecuted for defacing and invalidating the ballot papers during the mayoral polls.

Masih unconditionally apologised to the Supreme Court on April 4 for his actions. The next date of the hearing is July 23.