West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee approved the name of state Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim for the post of Kolkata mayor Thursday, hours after an amendment to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation Act, 1980 — enabling non-councillors to be eligible — was passed in the Assembly.
Earlier in the day, Trinamool leader Sovan Chatterjee submitted his resignation to KMC chairperson Mala Roy. Speaking to reporters after his resignation was accepted, Chatterjee said there was “no negligence” on his part in running the city, adding that he “did not want to put the party down”.
Hakim said he is ready to shoulder any responsibility the party thinks he is fit for. “I thank all councillors for unanimously selecting me as their leader. I will try to continue the good work which has been done by our party so far. Our only agenda is development and I consider responsibilities as challenges to prove my abilities,” he added.
Earlier in the day, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (Second Amendment) Bill, 2018, was tabled in the Assembly by Hakim.
Section 2 of this Bill states that: “…elected members of the corporation may also elect an individual who is not a member of the corporation to be mayor, provided that he gets himself elected to be a member of the corporation within six months from date of election, failing which, he shall cease to be mayor of the corporation.” It was also mentioned that the section shall come into force at once.
Mamata participated in the discussion that followed, and it was finally passed by a voice vote.