CHIEF MINISTER Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday nominated Trinamool Congress MLA Sabyasachi Dutta as the first mayor of the newly-formed Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation. She also named Jitendra Tiwari as the mayor of the newly-formed Asansol Corporation.
Tapas Chatterjee, who had switched from the CPM to the Trinamool ahead of the recent municipal elections, has been made the deputy mayor of Bidhannagar. Krishna Chakraborty, chairperson of the former Bidhannagar municipality, was appointed to the same post in the new municipal corporation. “In Asansol, Jitendra Tiwari will be the new mayor and Tabasum Ara the deputy mayor,” said the CM.
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Describing the ruling Trinamool Congress, the Bengal government and the state police as a family, Mamata — while addressing a Dandiya function attended by Kolkata’s large Marwari community, said: “Unity and keeping all communities together are extremely important. This is why I have chosen a non-Bengali, Hindi speaking person, as the mayor of Asansol… the deputy mayor of Asansol is a Muslim.”
A member of the CPM since 1978, Chatterjee — who was also the chairman of Rajarhat municipality for 15 years — had switched loyalties to the Trinamool in July this year. Earlier, Chatterjee had said the reason behind his changing allegiance was that while the Left had veered away from its ideology, he found “Left ideologies” in Mamata.
Despite now belonging to the same party, Chatterjee was being seen as a staunch rival to Sabyasachi Dutta — vice-chairperson of outgoing Bidhannagar municipality — and a contender for the mayor’s post. With her announcement, Mamata has accommodated both rivals.
The CM said that Trinamool will form a three-member committee headed by state Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim with Youth Affairs Minister Aroop Biswas and Kolkata Mayor Sovan Chatterjee to help the newly formed boards.
In a major boost for Trinamool ahead of next year’s Assembly polls, the party had scored landslide victory in the two corporations and wrested Bally civic body from the Left Front, who had ruled it for the last 40 years.