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Trinamool's Firhad Hakim new Kolkata mayor, after Sovan Chatterjee quits

Thursday - November 22, 2018 10:08 pm , Category : INDIA
Kolkata, Nov 22 (IANS) West Bengal Urban Development and Municipal Affairs Minister Firhad Hakim was on Thursday elected as the new mayor of Kolkata after his predecessor Sovan Chatterjee stepped down earlier in the day.
 
Hakim, who was strongly in contention to ascend to the top post of the city civic body since Chatterjee was asked to resign by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday, was elected by Trinamool Congress councillors in a civic body meeting here on Thursday afternoon.
 
Atin Ghosh, a Trinamool, has been named as new deputy mayor of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation.
 
Chatterjee had resigned from West Bengal Fire and Housing Ministry on Tuesday and was subsequently asked by the party high command to vacate the city mayor's chair that he held for eight years.
 
"He (Chatterjee) has sent in his resignation through a representative," Kolkata Municipal Corporation Chairperson Mala Roy told reporters.
 
Talking to the reporters after his resignation, Chatterjee, also a Trinamool MP from south Kolkata's Behala, said he has followed the order of party supremo Banerjee and reiterated that he has full respect for the party.
 
"I had submitted my resignation from the Ministry before West Bengal's Chief Minister and it was accepted. Then I was asked to resign from the Mayor's post of but yesterday was a holiday. So, I have sent my resignation today as the municipal corporation resumed work," he said.
 
He refused the claims of any political conspiracy behind his removal and said he does not know the reason why he was asked to step down.
 
"I don't have any idea about any political conspiracy. It was a direction given so I have resigned from the post of the Mayor. I don't know the reason why I have been asked to resign. (reason why CM asked him to resign). I have served the people and my party for the last 34 years," he added.
 
Chatterjee, once one of Banerjee's most trusted lieutenants, reportedly fell from grace after disputes with his wife became public earlier this year.
 
He had previously lost the Environment portfolio to fellow Trinamool Congress leader Subhendu Adhikari. He was also removed from the position of party's South 24 Parganas district president.
 

--IANS mgr-bnd/prs