Trinamool Congress candidate Firhad Hakim Wednesday submitted his nomination for the mayor post at Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC). Hakim, who is also the urban development and municipal affairs minister, handed over his nomination paper to Municipal Secretary (Returning officer) Harihar Prasad Mondal.
BJP candidate Meena Devi Purohit, who is a councillor, also filed her nomination papers an hour later. Both candidates filed their papers a day after Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi gave his assent to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill 2018 which was passed on November 22 by state Assembly to enable a non-councillor to become the city Mayor. Hakim is not a councillor.
Thursday is the last day for filing nomination and Friday for withdrawal. The election would be held at KMC on December 3 through secret ballot.
Purohit was the Deputy Mayor of the KMC during 2000-2005, when TMC’s Subrata Mukherjee was the Mayor in the board of the TMC-BJP combine. In the 144-seat KMC, the TMC has 122 councillors, Left Front has 14, the BJP has five, the Congress has two, while one seat is vacant.
Criticising the BJP’s move to field a candidate for the mayor’s post despite not having the strength, Hakim said, “BJP does not want to see a person from minority communities hold this post and that’s why it has fielded a candidate. We are not worried by this as we are concerned about the people.”
State BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said, “Those who had called us a communal party are now indulging in communal politics to woo a particular community. We know that our party does not have the required strength to elect our candidate, but it does not mean that we cannot field a candidate.”
The CPM is contemplating moving the court to challenge Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill 2018 which has allowed Hakim to get selected as a mayor candidate.