Mamata Banerjee names Firhad Hakim as new Kolkata Mayor
Kolkata, Nov 22 (IBNS): West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress (TMC) chief Mamata Banerjee on Thursday named state minister Firhad Hakim as the new Mayor-elect of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC).
Kolkata's 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 on Thursday noon. Precisely, Chatterjee was asked to resign by Mamata.
Chatterjee resigned as the state minister on Tuesday.
According to the KMC law, which has been freshly amended by the state government on Thursday, Hakim will have to get elected from any of the 144 wards within six months.
Earlier, to become the Kolkata Mayor, one had to be a councillor from any of the 144 wards.
Chatterjee's personal security guards put forward his resignation letter before KMC chairperson Mala Roy in the noon.
The personal life of Chatterjee has been the talking point for last few days.
His estrangement with wife Ratna and his rumoured extra-marital affair with a married woman- Baishakhi Banerjee (Chatterjee called her a close friend who stood by him in difficult times)- has played out in media over the months.
Almost all Bengali news channels beamed his personal life yesterday in prime time with Ratna accusing Baishakhi Banerjee of taking him in the wrong path even as Chatterjee vehemently contested it holding that the woman his wife tried to vilify is a "friend in need" who helped him with legal matters during the Narada scam.
Baishakhi is the teacher-in-charge of Milli-Al-Ameen College For Girls in Beckbagan while her husband Manojit Mandal, who rubbished the charges of Ratna against his wife, is a professor at Jadavpur University.
However Chatterjee, who served as the Kolkata Mayor since 2010, on Thursday said Baishakhi did not interfere in his works.