Mamata named state minister Firhad Hakim as new Mayor-elect of KMC

Kolkata, Nov 22 (UNI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today named state
Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim as the new Mayor-elect of Kolkata Municipal
Corporation (KMC).
KMC Councillor Atin Ghosh has been named as the Deputy Mayor of Kolkata. Unlike
Ghosh, who will replace ailing Iqbal Ahmed as the deputy Mayor, Hakim will have to get
elected in the House by the councillors.
The naming of Hakim and Ghosh came after veteran TMC leader Sovan Chatterjee
resigned from the Mayor’s post this afternoon.
Mr Chatterjee has sent his resignation through a representative,” Kolkata Municipal
Corporation Chairperson Mala Roy told reporters.
Ms Banerjee announced Firhad Hakim’s name after a meeting of all 122 Trinamool
Congress councilors, barely few hours after Mr Chatterjee sent his resignation letter
to KMC chairperson Mala Roy.
Mr Chatterjee on Tuesday quit the cabinet post of fire and hosing departments as
demanded by the chief minister.
At a press conference after his resignation, Mr Chatterjee said he is also ready to
resign as a corporator. He is a legislator from the important Behala East constituency
in south Kolkata.
Earlier, the Mamata Banerjee government earlier today passed an Amendment bill
of the KMC Act of 1980 in which a provision is there to select a Mayor if he or she is
not councilor. However the new Mayor hast to be elected from a ward within six months.
Speaking at the house, Mamata said, “The amendment to the bill has been done to
nominate a credible person as the new Mayor.”
Soon after Firhad Hakim was made the next Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation,
state BJP president Dilip Ghosh questioned, “Does none of the 122 members of the
municipality have the eligibility to be the Mayor?”
Mr Ghosh said, “It is being understood that who ever has been elected as the
councillor till date, has no eligibility. In that case, minister Firhad Hakim has to be
made the Mayor.”
However, BJP has supported the amendment bill in the legislative assembly.
On the floor of the assembly today, Ms Banerjee said, “There is no crisis at all.
One can always resign and there are provisions. There is no misunderstanding
either. Someone can have personal problems.” She was replying to a question by
Mr Ghosh.
Though reports are suggesting Firhad’s nomination as the new Mayor is just a
matter of time, the chief minister will hold a meeting with all party councillors at
Uttirna, an open air theatre in the city, to take a call on Chatterjee’s successor.
However, Chatterjee said he has not been invited to the meeting.
Mr Hakim, also known as Bobby, is one of the well known faces of the party
and has been a corporator from south Kolkata.
He was one of the front-runners for the post as he is said to be well-versed with
functioning of civic bodies by virtue of the portfolios he hold in the state cabinet.
He is also a long-time Mamata Banerjee loyalist.
Meanwhile, Sovan Chatterjee was at one time one of Mamata Banerjee’s
favourite colleagues. She used to call him by his nickname, Kanan.
The KMC is a house of 144 members.

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