Patiala gets 34-year-old mayor

Patiala (Punjab), April 2 (IANS) Second-time councillor, 34-year-old Amaninder Singh Bajaj was Tuesday unanimously elected mayor of Punjab’s Patiala town.

The new mayor is the son of Indermohan Singh Bajaj, the district president of the ruling Shiromani Akali Dal. He will be the fourth mayor of the Patiala Municipal Corporation.

Two Punjab cabinet ministers, Sikander Singh Maluka and Surjit Singh Rakhra, were present during the election process here.

The election of the new mayor was necessitated following the previous mayor, Jaspal Singh Pradhan, being forced to resign February this year.

Pradhan was asked to resign by Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal after his name figured in a controversy over the mysterious death of a young woman.

He was booked by police, along with his “wife” Paramjit Kaur and “son” Harpreet Singh after his “daughter-in-law” Parampreet Kaur was found dead in her house in Patiala. All three were booked for murder and conspiracy.

Pradhan was given a ‘clean chit’ by police later about his role in the death of the woman. He had denied that Paramjit and Harpreet were his wife and son, respectively, claiming that she was his friend’s wife whom he had been helping.

However, the victim’s family claimed that Pradhan had behaved like a father-in-law in the past few years ever since the victim was married to Harpreet.

There were allegations that the mayor tried to hush up the matter initially by passing off the mysterious death of Parampreet as a case of suicide.

Taking serious cognizance of the incident, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal had constituted a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under a woman inspector general of police (IGP).

The opposition Congress party had asked the Akali Dal to come clean on the Patiala incident.

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